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Figurative Language Versus Literal Language - Essay Example

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 This essay discusses figurative language versus literal language. There are many different forms of language, and the meaning can change depending on the situation used or way that it is worded. Two main forms of communication are figurative language and literal language…
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Figurative Language Versus Literal Language
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Download file to see previous pages On the other hand, literal language is the complete opposite of figurative language because it means exactly what it says; what is spoken should always be taken as pure fact. Many people often get confused about figurative language and what it actually refers to. This is why it is so important to understand what the language is referring to and what the intended meaning is. In this paper, the ten most common forms of figurative language will be discussed. They are as follows: (1) idiom; (2) analogy; (3) metaphor; (4) simile; (5) cliche; (6) amphiboly; (7) flame word; (8) hyperbole; (9) euphemism; and (10) colloquialism. The first type of figurative language, idiom, is a phrase that is made up of unrelated words that only make sense when used together. Idioms evolve over time as people get comfortable saying them. An example of an idiom would be ‘a slip of the tongue.’ Of course, it is impossible for a tongue to actually slip, but the idiom is referring to a misspoken word or phrase. Idioms only make sense when the listener understands all the parts of the phrase individually and then is able to put them together to get the intended meaning. People who are in the process of learning a new language often don’t understand idioms because they simply don’t have the vocabulary to do so. ...
The third type of figurative language, metaphor, is different from analogy because it makes a direct comparison between two unrelated things. The purpose of a metaphor is to show or express emotion where simple language would not suffice. An example of a metaphor would be ‘his house is a fortress.’ It is very unlikely that someone’s house would be a fortress, but what the metaphor is trying to explain is that the house is impressive. A metaphor is often used in poetry to describe something in a beautiful way. If someone took a metaphor literally, then they might have a hard time believing it. The next type of figurative language, simile, is very similar to a metaphor except it uses the word as or like when making a comparison between two unrelated things. A simile is also often used in poetry. An example of a simile would be ‘the boy runs as fast as a cheetah.’ The phrase does not actually claim that the boy can run the same speed of a cheetah, only that he runs so fast that it seems like he does. There are very few misunderstandings over a simile because it does not make a direct comparison and so cannot be taken literally. The fifth type of figurative language, cliche, is a common phrase that has been used so much that it has lost its original meaning. Cliches are used in everyday speech and eventually become part of a language. An example of a cliche would be ‘time will tell.’ The time cannot actually tell anything since it has no form of communication except to give the time. Just like an idiom, a cliche would be hard for someone who is learning a new language to comprehend.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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