Teaching metaphor is fundamental to understanding your language, your perception and our culture. We do not understand abstractions – such as loyalty, love and endeavour – as clearly or as easily as we might think we do, despite how easily we might express these words without correction.

Metaphor forms the building block of our understanding. We communicate scientific findings, or at least the theories, using figurative language, even if only spaciotemporally. Our relationships, our very group identity, is underpinned by metaphor.

Instead in the resources on my drives, and in the conversations of my profession, I see metaphor taught as a linguistic technique, something to be quantified and ticked off as something that convinces examiners. ‘A metaphor is not a simile’.

A great book to extend this is ‘You Are Not Human’: Lancaster, Simon. You Are Not Human: How Words Kill. , 2018.

It explains with precise examples how metaphor impacts human institutions: the term ‘vegetable’ will kill you if on life support. The term ‘divorce’ will lead to folks agreeing to hundreds of millions of pounds of payment. It is easy to be cynical from the middle about the power of metaphor, seeing them as meer veneer.

Metaphor dictates perception, which controls perspective, which meets others at the point of culture in that perpetual negotiation. To teach metaphor as fundamental is not something often done already.