For 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.
From President Obama’s political rhetoric to the bursting of the housing bubble, from conversations to commercials, James Geary shows that every aspect of our day-to-day experience is molded by metaphor. Geary takes readers from Aristotle’s investigation of metaphor right up to the latest neuroscientific insights into how metaphor works in the brain. Romeo’s exclamation “It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!” may be one of the most well-known metaphors in literature, but metaphor is more than a device of love-struck poets. As Geary demonstrates, metaphor has leaped off the page and landed with a mighty splash right in the middle of the stream of consciousness.
Witty, persuasive, and original, I Is an Other explores metaphor’s effects on financial decision making, effective advertising, leadership, learning, and more.
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About the Author
James Geary is the author of Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists and the New York Times bestseller The World in a Phrase.
Table of Contents
Why I is an Other
Metaphor and Thought 5
All Shook Up
Metaphor and Etymology 17
Language is Fossil Poetry
Metaphor and Money 29
How High Can a Dead Cat Bounce?
Metaphor and the Mind 44
Imagining an Apple in Someone's Eye
Metaphor and Advertising 58
Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads in Them
Metaphor and the Brain 76
Bright Sneezes and Loud Sunlight
Metaphor and the Body 94
Anger is a Heated Fluid in a Container
Metaphor and Politics 112
Freedom Fries and Liberty Cabbage
Metaphor and Pleasure 137
Experience is a Comb that Nature Gives to Bald Men
Metaphor and Children 152
How Should One Refer to the Sky?
Metaphor and Science 167
The Earth is Like a Rice Pudding
Metaphor and Parables and Proverbs 179
Mighty Darn Good Lies
Metaphor and Innovation 197
Make it Strange
Metaphor and Psychology 208
A Little Splash of Color From my Mother
The Logic of Metaphor
What People are Saying About This
“This book is for everyone interested in the subtle operations of language and thought....I is an Other is one of those ‘must-read’ books for this year, for any year. It deserves a wide audience, and it will find one.”
“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....You’ll scarf down every page of I Is an Other and then ask for more.”
“This book is a prism, refracting the white light of language into a kaleidoscopic celebration of its images and etymologies.”
“In his fine new book, James Geary [shows that] metaphors are not rhetorical frills at the edge of how we think. They are at the very heart of it.”