I is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World

I is an Other The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World Sherlock Holmes could glance at a bowler hat and tell that its owner s wife had ceased to love him In this brilliant book about metaphor James Geary is no less astonishing as he deciphers the subtle

  • Title: I is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World
  • Author: James Geary
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 376
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Sherlock Holmes could glance at a bowler hat and tell that its owner s wife had ceased to love him In this brilliant book about metaphor James Geary is no less astonishing, as he deciphers the subtle implications embedded in advertising slogans, familiar slang and government double talk You ll scarf down every page of I Is an Other and then ask for Michael Dird Sherlock Holmes could glance at a bowler hat and tell that its owner s wife had ceased to love him In this brilliant book about metaphor James Geary is no less astonishing, as he deciphers the subtle implications embedded in advertising slogans, familiar slang and government double talk You ll scarf down every page of I Is an Other and then ask for Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize winning critic and author of Book by Book and Classics for PleasureFor lovers of language and fans of Blink and Freakonomics, New York Times bestselling author James Geary offers this fascinating look at metaphors and their influence in every aspect of our lives, from art to medicine, psychology to the stock market.

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      Published :2019-02-14T07:46:11+00:00

    1 thought on “I is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World”

    1. Thank you, James Geary! By writing this elegant, concise, clear account of the central role that metaphor plays, not just in how we speak and communicate, but also in how we think, you have liberated me. For about two years now I've been walking around with a kind of Sisyphean pebble in my shoe, a constant, niggling, low-grade annoyance that resisted all my efforts to resolve it. You see, there's this other book, Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff (Mark Johnson is listed as a second author on [...]

    2. A suave compliment to Edward de Bono’s ‘Lateral thinking’ paradigm, this breezy compilation of cognitive association research kept me busy for a good two hours deciphering high school puzzles and engaging in blatant Pavlovian consumerism displays. Literally.In the chapter ‘metaphor and advertising’, I gained no new insights, but this did not prevent me from falling prey to advertising gimmicks. Is someone paying James Geary to flog these things, but look here: this is an Hourglass Coff [...]

    3. I love this book. When I first skimmed it, I came across "he was deeply in Love. when she spoke he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up." And I was hooked (oops, another metaphor!). A key point in this book is that we use metaphor without realising it and in fact our language is pretty much made up of phrases that once were metaphor and became cliche that we accept them as part of our language in the same way 'bread' means bread. Every new word created is somehow a m [...]

    4. Most people don't realize how metaphors permeate our everyday language and thought. ("Permeate" is a metaphor.) James Geary's book emphatically and with ample evidence makes the point about the ubiquity of metaphor/simile/analogy. "Metaphor lives a secret life all around us. We utter about one metaphor for every ten to twenty-five words, or about six metaphors a minute." For example, looking at an Aug. 5, 2001, San Jose Mercury News A1 story and headlines on the Dow Jones average losing 512.76 p [...]

    5. Thought-provoking, solidly-researched, and (mostly) engagingly written, Geary's biography of the humble metaphor reveals just how deeply it is embedded in our language and also at the heart of our cognition and ability to reason. No mere literary decoration, metaphor "conditions our interpretations of the stock market, surreptitiously infiltrates our decisions, nudges public opinion, spurs creativity and innovation."Geary's exploration ranges from the individual and personal – with fascinatin [...]

    6. A metaphor is a direct comparison not using "like" or "as," or so it's defined in school. And personification, well that's personification. But in James Geary's I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor, a wider net is cast and personification along with most every other figurative construction is metaphoric. In fact, the book will widen your metaphoric horizons until you will be harder pressed to identify what's NOT metaphoric.Just so you know.OK, by chapter, Geary also takes on the big pictur [...]

    7. This is an wonderful book. Anyone who is a lover of words would love this book. It delved into my thinking, how I interpret words and associate actions with them, how I think, who I am, how I relate to my life, people etc they way I see the world and so on.I believe that words affect us in unconscious ways that we are not aware of. I also feel that's why I feel uncomfortable with few people more than others, it is not their intentions but the way they use their words. Rather than being in denial [...]

    8. An incredible compendium of sources, facts and theories, this is a very broad survey of the places metaphor is used in human culture. As a general survey however, which is difficult enough for a material object to achieve, many of the sections did not provide ample arguments for there to be so many sections, indeed many arguments seemed directed at a previous chapter. I found these subsections very interesting theoretically, but was unsatisfied by a number of attempts at conclusions. The ending [...]

    9. An exceptionally easy read considering James Geary's delving into the scientific aspects of metaphor. He incorporated not merely an exploration of the communicative art of metaphor, but also its psychological underpinnings which made for an especially comprehensive read. Geary begins with the linguistic manifestations, across many languages, before leading into the findings of those conducting research into the origins and uses of metaphor.But don't let my sterile review mislead you: Geary is an [...]

    10. This book describes the psychology behind using metaphors for areas of our life, such as advertisements, science, stockmarket, innovation and politics. There is also a chapter on Aspergers and metaphors.There were lots of examples from research as well as techniques that use metaphors, for instance in deciding a marketing campaign, or in a form of psychotherapy.I enjoyed this book a lot. I am interested in words in general: where do they comes from (yes, that etymology bit), how do people use th [...]

    11. This book is interesting, but for me, much too detailed. Geary educated me, and made his points in the first two chapters. Also it seemed like as the book went on, he used more and more words that are not in my context. But, the book did cause me to think differently about metaphors. Who am I kidding, I never thought about them before. Anyway, I have purposefully begun to pay attention to the verbiage in magazines, TV, and movies, and am more acutely aware of how metaphors influence our emotions [...]

    12. I read this book for a long-distance family book club that the Tarasovic-Talbots are currently beta testing. I think it would have been a great book to read if you were in daily contact with another person reading it, because it's peppered with interesting ideas that might spark some good discussion between co-readers. Two weeks after finishing it, though, I'm struggling to remember a single one of those ideas, and kind of come away with the notion that this book had one major point (Everything [...]

    13. This was a great book. It lightly touches on how important metaphors are in virtually every aspect of our lives. It does leave you with a greater appreciation for how humans use metaphor to learn new things. The claim that it is only through what's already known that we learn about the unknown, is a very important concept that I plan on taking with me. Overall I considered the book to be very entertaining and eye opening.

    14. This book is a good initiation into current thinking on metaphor. Although it does consider nearly everything to be metaphor, it also taps true contributions on metaphor from important writers, artists, and scientists. It shows how metaphor permeates our lives and helps to make the inexplicable familiar, to help us navigate the unknown, and to enrich - and beautify - our learning. It also operationalizes metaphor as a problem-solving tool, for the whole range of thinkable problems.

    15. I disagree with a lot of how Geary presents metaphors (really man, read more Lakoff, Johnson, Black, and Berggren before you start to discuss metaphor theory and its implications), but I love how intense/compact/detailed his chapters were. I had to breezed through sections because of finals week, but I plan on returning to Geary in the future. This deserves my full time. Although it could use an update—I found a few glaring errors.

    16. I came to this via Eula Biss’s citings of it in On Immunity. It is comprehensive, sometimes amusing, and endlessly curious for anyone who is interested in how and why we describe things in terms of other things.

    17. The chapters on the use of metaphor in science and innovation were especially thought-provoking for me in terms of how the concept could be (should be?) used in education. The insights explain Gee's 2003 quote: "Leaning happens within, but at the outer edges of the learner's resources." It makes me wonder if deep learning is demonstrated when an appropriate metaphor is created by the student.

    18. Every practicing or wannabe poet should read this indispensable book written with consummate clarity and irresistible flair. Engaging and illuminating chapters that explore the omnipresence of Metaphor in the arenas of Language, Science, Politics, Advertising, Cognition, Finance, and more.

    19. (warning: this is not a review per se, so much as a reaction)I loved this book but It's far from perfect. It had a powerful impact on me personally, but for what it leaves out as much as what it includes. I'm fascinated by the gulf between religious and non-religious thinking (I happen to be non-religious if it matters to you) and it seems to me that what this book has to offer is essentially an explanation of that gulf. And yet it never mentions religion once. The premise is in the subtitle; ho [...]

    20. While librarians rarely memorize the Dewey Decimal System as an intentional exercise, common interaction with the numbers makes them stick. The 400s is the realm of language. In the case of public libraries, those shelves are usually small compared to other sections and largely contain reference books like dictionaries and thesauruses. Every so often, however, a really nice prose text is tucked away between the lexicons. I Is an Other is one such work.The book lays out how we understand the worl [...]

    21. Fascinating look at how metaphor not only permeates our language, but affects our ability to understand our world. Metaphor, as it is studied here, goes beyond the literary device with which are all familiar. It describes an important brain function which enables us to make sense of the world by connecting the unfamiliar to the familiar.Geary begins with language, how we invent new words using old ones, or give new meanings to old words, and how often we use metaphor (on average, one metaphor in [...]

    22. The subtitle says it all: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World."Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor." — Wallace StevensA very good book for poets, but for anyone, really. Of course metaphor is familiar to everyone as a literary device — describing one thing in terms of another — but as Geary makes clear, it's the primary way that we learn about the world. It's the bridge between the known and the unknown. How else can we understand someth [...]

    23. The word 'metaphor' brings to mind images of grumpy English teachers reciting the formula that 'like' is a metaphor and 'as' is a simile. As a child I had always felt a bit mystified by this explanation, feeling that the concept of metaphor was elusive, inexplicable, mired in a convoluted explanation that everyone else understood.Metaphor, however, is more than a literary device. It permeates our daily lives. We speak in parable. Businesspeople talk about 'right sizing', people are 'resources'. [...]

    24. How do we make sense of the world through language? In this engaging and elegant book, James Geary explores how we use metaphors to make sense of the world. We use metaphors constantly, about once every 10–25 words. More surprising, though, is how much those same metaphors impact the way we think and act as well.Perhaps unsurprisingly, Geary is pretty handy with metaphors himself, as when he describes the way they exert “a potent but largely unnoticed influence on us. We don’t normally fee [...]

    25. I have always tended to think of metaphors as statements like “ran like the wind” or “raven haired”; statements that are obvious comparisons. Geary points out that metaphor goes far deeper in our language; stocks ‘climb’ despite not having limbs, time races by or crawls, a person or situation can be a ticking time bomb while having nothing to do with actual explosives. Metaphor is so ingrained in humans that we aren’t even aware of it. Metaphors help explain the world to us; new th [...]

    26. An interesting book about a fascinating subject. It's easy to lose sight of how pervasive metaphors are in our lives (like in this very sentence, for instance) and this book helps illustrate the vast role that metaphor plays in how we see the world and communicate with each other.After reading this book, your view of the ways in which language shapes us will almost certainly change.I originally was interested in this book for its potential to help me understand the role that metaphor can play in [...]

    27. A fascinating book on metaphors. Metaphors are not just amusing wordplays. Geary convincingly argues that metaphors shape our worldview and are essential to how we think, feel, perceive, and communicate. While metaphors are used in all language, Geary unfortunately doesn't say anything about the relative prevalence of metaphors in different languages. Knowing Persian and English, I've always been struck by how much more common metaphors are in Persian – and I don't know why it is so and what i [...]

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