A recent oncology article underscores the importance of figurative language in medicine: “metaphors don’t merely describe similarities; they create them.”11 This notion that language shapes behaviour is an old idea in linguistics12 and has important implications in the clinical setting. Considering how pervasive and undermining military metaphors are, it behooves any practitioner interested in forming a healing relationship with a patient to think carefully about the power of words. To quote Tony Judt, “If words fall into disrepair, what will substitute? They are all we have.”13
The most common and important form of figurative language comes when poets compare one thing to another. The big three types of comparisons are metaphor, simile, and personification. Simile is a poetic comparison between unlike objects that incorporates the words 'like' or 'as.' That's different from personification which is, a poetic comparison that gives human qualities to something nonhuman. But the most important comparison, for poetry, is metaphor. That's a type of analogy that compares two unlike objects with one another.
What's the Purpose of Figurative Language? - Synonym
The unexpectedness of the approaches in these essays will unsettle received opinion, provoke new discussion, and challenge readers to think more seriously about the importance of figurative language, the power of common and uncommon usage, and the meaning of rights.