Read Any Good Media Lately?
David Brooks, political
columnist and television commentator, noted that "studying
the humanities will give you a wealth of analogies. People think
by comparison - Iraq is either like Vietnam or Bosnia; your boss
is like Narcissus or Solon. People who have a wealth of
analogies in their minds can think more precisely than those
with few analogies. If you go through college without reading
Thucydides, Herodotus and Gibbon, you'll have been cheated out
of a great repertoire of comparisons."
may be several years away from college days or just not on
familiar terms with the ancient Greeks or famous historians, but
one way to broaden your metaphoric thinking is to be on the
lookout for them in your daily reading of the news on or off
line - in any category.
The colorful and controversial George
Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees, died earlier this
Jason Gay of The Wall
Street Journal wrote that "in its prime, [his name] caused
strong souls to shudder, in twilight, it commanded the respect
of a dormant volcano."
Quiet power, hint of danger, unpredictability - painted in a
single metaphorical image.
Apparently, scientists are realizing that cancer
is not a single disease or even a single disease within a single
location in the body, e.g., lungs, brain, or skin. The more they
study the disease, the more complex it becomes. "Cancer is like
cable television," says
George Sledge, a breast
cancer expert at Indiana University. "Thirty years ago you
had three channels. Now you have 500." The challenge for
cancer researchers increasingly is to match the right drug with
the right channel.
Complexity from a huge number of possibilities - captured by a
popular media comparison.
Charlie Wolf, an analyst
at Needham & Company, compared Carly Fiorina's oratorical skills
to "feasting on a big Chinese dinner: You leave feeling full,
but an hour later you realize there was nothing there.... H-P
was always missing its numbers, but her speeches made everything
Emptiness, hunger for more - communicated in a comparison to a
common dining experience.
No matter the situation, there is generally a
simple, familiar metaphor or analogy just waiting out there for
you to grab and use to nail your point. The more you notice
these in the media, the easier it becomes for you to create
similar metaphors to influence people in your world.
See you next month!.
Make What You Say, Pay - With Metaphors.
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