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Managerial Communication by J. David Johnson

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Chapter 2

Definition and the Use of Metaphor

Metaphors provide a way of understanding one thing by appeal to another.1

They are here, there, and everywhere. They run right through our language. They are used to make sense of the situations we find ourselves in. They shape our perceptions and can influence our attitudes and behavior. Metaphors are, to quote Morgan, “a way of thinking and a way of seeing …”.2

Metaphors enable us to apply our knowledge of a familiar subject, the base domain, to one that is relatively unknown, the target domain.3 They become a way of both describing and evaluating action.4 Metaphors can be generative because they may result in new knowledge about an unfamiliar terrain and new frames or perspectives for viewing ...

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