Metaphors play an important role in shaping cultural identities and expectations in modern society. These language elements demonstrate the importance of comparing different types of examples in a manner that will achieve the desired objectives within the context of the written words. The chapter by Liu addresses some of the most common metaphors that are used throughout the English language as a means of exploring new directives and approaches to idea sharing. In particular, the chapter explores metaphors for their different underlying meanings and their relationship to different cultures (Liu). It is important to distinguish between different metaphors and to decipher their meanings in order to encourage the development of new perspectives regarding cultures that define these differences (Liu).
The chapter considers many of the ways in which people use metaphors to address different circumstances within cultures and how these metaphors determine the meaning behind specific actions or behaviors (Liu). The author provides a number of important examples that support the use of metaphors as common practice in the English language to distinguish between different ideas in a creative manner (Liu). One significant example to consider is that of the American culture, whereby Americans often treat many situations as if they are part of a contest or competition that must be won (Liu). Americans are generally very competitive by nature and are represented as such throughout sports, politics, entertainment, and other areas quite successfully (Liu). In this context, it is observed that Americans treat many circumstances competitively and are often relentless in their efforts to win the big prize, whether it is a football game, an election, or a cash prize (Liu). This competitive streak serves as a metaphor that signifies the American culture and its people in a manner that is consistent with core American values and principles (Liu).
It is important to identify a variety of metaphors that demonstrate the impact of specific factors within cultures and different experiences that are observed (Liu). The author states that “It is often through the metaphorical process that human beings conceptualize the world and construct reality…we constantly name novel concepts or newly invented products metaphorically, or in Aristotle’s words, we use ‘metaphors to give names to nameless things’” (Liu, p. 4). In this context, the author notes an example of the “cyberspace super highway” and how it reflects physical characteristics and attributes that are not actually physical in nature; rather, they are virtual but are interpreted in a physical manner (Liu). This and other examples provide further evidence of the impact of metaphors on cultures and human beings (Liu).
It is also believed that the manner in which metaphors are used throughout society are largely based upon cultural needs and identifiers which support specific ideas and objectives within those cultures (Liu). At the same time, many metaphors are adapted across a variety of cultures and are not exclusive to a single culture, and this reflects a means of evaluating specific factors that impact cultural identities and norms in different ways (Liu). These frames of reference are important because they identify the different types of cultural points of view that are relevant in the modern era and in shaping cultural identities and expectations (Liu). It is also relevant to consider the role of metaphors and their expression in different languages, as this is likely to convey several different meanings, depending on the language under consideration and the parallel culture (Liu). These efforts demonstrate that metaphors have specific meanings within different groups and support the development of new ideas to explore cultural needs and expectations in different ways (Liu).
Finally, metaphors are identified in all walks of life and support the development of cultures and nations, including the key to modernizing many cultural frameworks (Liu). Therefore, when metaphors are discussed in the media, they are likely to interpreted differently by a variety of groups of people (Liu). Therefore, when political motivations are on display in a metaphorical context, it is likely that there will be specific responses to these motivations and how they are reflected in the general population (Liu). From this perspective, it is important to identify the factors that play an important role in facilitating outcomes that are favorable in the context of cultural expectations (Liu). These types of metaphors are important because they reflect an opportunity to parallel different ideas and expectations in a manner that is consistent with popular beliefs and considerations as expressed by different cultures in the modern era, including the consideration of language and other factors (Gannon).
Creative approaches to language development require the use of metaphors as common practice in order to express different ideas and approaches to common issues. In the United States, metaphors are used widely across a variety of cultures in order to express different ideals and considerations that influence the lives of people in different ways. Therefore, it is important to recognize these metaphors and how they impact cultural identities in unique ways. In addition, it is important to identify the factors that often play a role in language differentiation in the use of metaphors in order to distinguish between the meanings that exist. In this manner, it is likely that there will be opportunities to use metaphors to express culture-specific issues and concerns and to raise questions regarding the ability of metaphors to engage people of the same culture. These differences are important indicators of the use of metaphors across cultures to interpret a variety of ideas effectively.
Gannon, M.J. Unit 16, Chapter 4: Cultural metaphors: their use in management practice and as a method for understanding cultures. Retrieved from http://www.wwu.edu/culture/Gannon.htm
Liu. Chapter 1: Metaphor and culture: an introduction. P. 1-13.