Month: January 2019

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In “The Trouble With Medicine’s Metaphors”, the author, Dhruv Khullar, addresses the use of military-related metaphors when referring to medical illnesses. He explains how the use of military terms in a metaphor can cause a patient to view their illness in a negative way. It can cause them to believe that they may have not tried hard enough in the “battle” and they view that as a failure when in fact they almost have no control over how the illness takes over. This can lead to a more depressive state and a decline in the quality of life. Adversely, Khullar discusses how other patients may view these terms as a helpful way of looking at their illness. Looking at an illness as a fight or a battle can give ideas of resilience and will power so they feel they can defeat whatever they are up against.

Language has an extreme impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. Some people may not realize the impact because they may have the philosophy of say how you feel and never hold back. This can mess with many other people’s minds and can impact their mental and physical health. Things people say may have a subtle effect on others without the original person even being able to realize it. This can be due to not knowing how people are feeling inside or maybe even the day they are having. For example, in the article by Dhruv Khullar, he explains how two people can have different perspectives on metaphors about illness when they use military terms. Viewing these metaphors negatively can create a negative impact on our health because this viewpoint was correlated with higher levels of depression and anxiety and poorer quality of life. In order to be aware of how a specific person or group may view a metaphor is to understand them as a person which can be difficult if they may be a patient, as in the example Khullar gave. Some people may overthink certain words or phrases and this can create bad thoughts in their mind because they dig deeper and deeper into the meaning where others might look at the surface level and view it completely differently.

The Trouble With Medicine’s Metaphors: “Some have suggested that viewing cancer as a fight can lead to maladaptive coping mechanisms and encourage emotional suppression.” This pertains to how specific metaphors can have a negative impact on people’s emotional health which can then lead to decreased physical and mental health.

See Through Words: “When I describe my work, people often ask whether these new metaphors actually change how people think. They can.” This quote can explain how using a metaphor for a specific situation can change how a person views the situation (good or bad).

Metaphorically Speaking: “Metaphor matters because it creates expectations.” The quote describes how metaphors can make people think a certain way or expect certain things (can connect to the battle portion of Khullar article).


Blog 2

As I began reading Erard’s article a second time, I found myself reading more in depth to the words he wrote. I was able to dive deeper into the real meaning behind the words he was saying and truly understand what he wanted the audience to believe/see. For instance, in the beginning of the story he wrote that if someone heard the phrase “a paintbrush is a kind of pump” they may believe that it was a mistake and not what another person meant to say. However, once you really think about the similarities between the two objects, a pump and a paintbrush, you realize the connection that both move water in some way. Thus, more connections can be created or thought up due to the original idea.  Erard also discusses “dual reference” in terms of words that are being used in a metaphor. I understood the meaning of dual reference when re-reading the passage and looking at the examples given to get the overall idea of what it meant. I realized that these words have their own literal mean like a rock is literally a thing that is on the ground outdoors. However, it has another meaning of being stable or strong such as a person in someone’s life being a rock. The person is not literally a rock but a dependable source of strength for another individual which shows how a rock has dual reference because it has two meanings and fits into more than one category.

One word I “glossed” was the word “salient”. The word salient describes something noticeable or significantly important or standing out. Discovering the meaning of this word allowed me to understand what the author was trying to say about family and their significance in society. He was describing the family as the most significant social piece in our society and how making a metaphor that refers to family needs to be taken with extreme caution because an audience could take the metaphor to a negative level the author did not intend to if it is not written correctly.


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One thought the author wrote about was the topic of why metaphors are not reversible. This struck me immediately because I had never thought of this concept before. He gave examples such as “my jail is a job” and “a pump is a kind of paintbrush” and this resonated with me because they way people see metaphors is as a comparison between two things that share a common characteristic. So, if these two objects/concepts share a characteristic, why can’t the comparison be used both ways? The phrase “my job is a jail” makes sense to most people who read it because the job isn’t enjoyable just as jail isn’t either. But when you flip it to say “my jail is a job” it has some sort of meaning but it is not as easily picked up as the previous statement. The person could be saying their jail in life is their job but it takes more of an explanation which isn’t the goal of a metaphor.

The author wanted to explain what a metaphor is to him but using a metaphor to do so. He used a room as the source and the room contains windows and doors. These windows are able to be placed up on a wall or lower. The position in which they are placed determines the perspective a person will see if they look outside. If they are low, they see grass and if they are high, they see the trees. This is how metaphors works because the result or interpretation varies from person to person. One person may see a metaphor such as “a lawyer is a shark” as a lawyer is cut throat and another person could view it as the lawyer is a strong individual that rules the area it is in. There’s many different perspectives a metaphor can hold and that is the beauty of them because they are able to reach many people in many ways.

Erard also mentioned the metaphor “…arguments are wars.” This quote can have a couple different meanings when read because people could see the connection of taking sides but also that the evidence used in arguments is similar to the weapons used in war. This metaphor also demonstrates the concept of metaphors being able to have more than one meaning or purpose that it wants to convey to the audience.

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The platform of a blog can have its perks and downsides. I believe this blog could be helpful and make me better accustomed to using/having my own website. It is very accessible to the public so opinions and thoughts can be shared easily. It is also very important in our modern day since technology is a primary source for information, it is straightforward for people to be able to find the information they may be looking for on these blogs. However, coming up with ideas and thoughts to share on a blog like this can become difficult if I’ve hit a roadblock in my writing or feel uninspired. Overall, I believe that having a blog could be a good experience for the course.

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