Metaphors we live by (Part 4)

Other metaphors to ponder

Metaphors abound in political and current affairs

Elections in Australia

It is great to see political writers keep to a theme of metaphors, where this one is about clothing, dressing, material, stitching, fashion, changing and a reference to magazines where these are discussed: The special glow of power – July 2, 2010 – Julia Gillard’s transformation is a metaphor for how she’s trying to change the government….. Think of it this way. The Rudd government’s clothes became torn and unfashionable. Gillard is trying to repair them, grab the odd new garment, and use accessories to the hilt – which can work wonders on the right wearer. So we are seeing a retreat on the mining tax and, soon, new climate initiatives. If Rudd had come out in such raiment, he wouldn’t have looked good. One of Gillard’s toughest tests is restitching the government’s asylum seeker policy. New political leaders always get into the women’s mags. It can work a treat – or not. Sometimes both. Tony Abbott had a humanising interview, all about his down-to-earth wife and attractive daughters. But a few words about virginity had him fighting off the old stereotype for weeks…. Among the ”celebrity Gillard” snippets, an article on ”20 intriguing things you didn’t know about Julia” reports that ”she has a personal stylist but has very little interest in fashion” and ”she doesn’t remember her natural hair colour”.

Obama’s Metaphors

Obama’s “reset button” metaphor: which is more correct, “restart,” “reboot,” or “reset”? …reset is a hardware thing , and reboot is a software thing. You can reboot without reseting , but if you reset, then you have to boot.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

This video helps explain what BP was actually doing in terms of addressing the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and employs a clever use of simple metaphors to get the message across. This was originally posted on Michelle Laurie’s Blog

What the Bleep Do We Know – Study Guide and Manual for Navigating Rabbit Holes.

Our core assumptions about the universe are embedded in the metaphors we use. Ecophilosopher Joanna Macy explores five central metaphors through which people in different spiritual traditions see the world: world as battlefield, world as classroom, world as trap, world as lover, and world as self. We have added to this list: world as machine.
Resource: For more information about Joanna Macy’s work, see


“Many people see the world as a battlefield, where good and evil are pitted against each other and the forces of light battle the forces of darkness. This ancient tradition goes back to the Zoroastrians and the Manichaeans. . . . There is the sense that you are fighting God’s battle and that ultimately you will win. William Irwin Thompson called this kind of certainty and self-righteousness ‘the apartheid of good,’” Macy tells us.


“A more innocuous version of the battlefield image,” Macy offers, “is the image of the world as a classroom, a kind of moral gymnasium where you are put through certain tests which would prove your mettle and teach you certain lessons, so you can graduate to other arenas and rewards. Whether a battlefield or a classroom, the world is a proving ground, with little worth beyond that.


  • CHARLES DARWIN On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,. 1869. Reprint, New York: The Heritage Press 1963.
  • DEDRE GENTNER AND MICHAEL JEZIORSKI The shift from metaphor to analogy in Western scienceIn A . Ortony (Ed .), Metaphor and Thought (2nd ed) (pp . 447-480). Cambridge, England : Cambridge University Press.
  • BULLOUGH, R.V., Jr. & Stokes, D.K. (1994). American Educational Research Journal, 31 Analyzing personal teaching metaphors in preservice teacher education as a means for encouraging professional development. (1), 197-224.

Book References


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