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ERIC Number: ED149338
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Hidden Traps of Language: Dangerous Metaphors.
Osborn, Michael
Since ancient times, the use of metaphor in rhetorical speeches has been a powerful tool for persuasive impact on audiences. Study of 84 important persuasive speeches, from classic to modern, reveals 52 metaphor types. Among these, 11 types account for 60% of all of the examples. These "archetypal" metaphors are used in speeches, not because of tradition or fashion, but because they have unusual capacities for persuasive effects. In order of frequency, these types are the human body, war and peace, light and darkness, structures, the sea, animals, literary tradition, the family, religious myths, sports, and personification. Experiments measuring audience response to speeches with both metaphorical and nonmetaphorical endings show that (1) the audience preferred the metaphorical ending and (2) the speaker was judged favorably or unfavorably (in terms of intellect, competence, and so on) according to the metaphor used. While metaphors have a definite place in rhetorical expression, these findings indicate a need to develop awareness of key metaphors and their potential for abuse. (MAI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (64th, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 28-30, 1974)