Publication details [#8337]

Nilsen, Don L. F. 1986. The nature of ground in farfetched metaphors. Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso 1 (2) : 127–138. 12 pp.


Researchers such as Bartel (1983), Black (1979), Booth (1979), Davidson (1979), de Man (1979), Goodman (1979), Lakoff and Johnson (1980), Ricoeur (1979), and Swanson (1979) have discussed the attributes of apt metaphors. The attributes that seem to be emerging are (a) accommodated to the audience, (b) active, (c) appropriate, (d) concise, (e) defined, (f) didactic (in a good sense), (g) epiphanic, (h) ethos-massaging, (i) grounded, (j) compatible, and (k) structured. Concentrating on farfetched metaphors, this article discusses these issues and provides numerous examples. It also discusses what makes a metaphor farfetched by treating various types of tension - the farfetched metaphors low tension of similes as compared with the high tension of metaphors; linguistic, pragmatic, and hermeneutic tension; emotional intensity; and the low tension of regular metaphors as compared with the high tension of mixed metaphors and floods of metaphors. It also discusses how improbable groundings and difficult closures can create tension and therefore farfetchedness. (Don L. F. Nilsen)