Thursday, August 17, 2017

From figures of speech to speech of lies

1 Introduction

When studying English we are taught about figures of speech (nowadays called tropes) such as metaphor
Ultimately all languag(ing) is metaphorizing in the sense that what is being spoken (written, typed, facebooked, whatsapped, …) ABOUT is never the same as the content.
«A PhD on the mango-fruit cannot convey the taste of mango »
Therefore since truth is What is and not Whataboutery around what is, languaging is invariably lying
And yet as we get more and more hooked onto languaging, we lie more and more and notice this less and less. [Sure we notice in others we dont like… Ourselves? Exempt??]
And so if we want to backtrack from a lie-ridden life we would do well to get more conscious about the figures of speech that we think we are exploiting but are actually slave to… Starting with the master-trope…

3 Metaphors

Of the many forms metaphor is considered the master George Lakoff goes into this in great detail
We have found that metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.
And how it is used to create and hide a system of lies:

4 Metonymy

Again from Lakoff

4.1 The part for the whole

Get your butt over here! We don't hire longhairs. The Giants need a stronger arm in right field. I've got a new four-on-the-floor V-8.

4.2 Producer for product

I'll have a Lohrenbrc u. He bought a Ford. He's got a Picasso in his den. I hate to read Heidegger.

4.3 Object used for user

The sax has the flu today. The BLT is a lousy tipper. The gun he hired wanted fifty grand. We need a better, ,'lolv eat third base. The buses are on strike.

4.4 Controller for controlled

Nixon bombed Hanoi. Ozawa gave a terrible concert last night. Napoleon lost at Waterloo. Casey Stengel won a lot of pennants. A Mercedes rear-ended inc.

4.5 Institution for people responsible

Exxon has raised its prices again. You'll never get the university to agree to that. The Army wants to reinstitute the draft. The Senate thinks abortion is immoral. I don't approve of the government's actions.

4.6 The place for the institution

The White House isn't saying anything. Washington is insensitive to the needs of the people. The Kremlin threatened to boycott the next round of SALT talks. Paris is introducing longer skirts this season. Hollywood isn't what it used to be. Wall Street is in a panic.

4.7 The place for the event

Let's not let Thailand become'another Vietnam. Remember the Alamo. Pearl Harbor still has an effect on our foreign policy. Watergate changed our politics. It's been Grand Central Station here all day.

5 Synechdoche

India won against Pakistan in cricket match how do 11 nepotistically selected jokers out of 1.1 billion become India (or Pakistan)?
The Bible (Torah) promises us the land of Israel Us? Who?? The Torah is frozen more than 2500 years ago. Are ‘you’ 2500 years old?

6 Flowery speech

George Orwell takes this statement from the Bible (Ecclesiastes)
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
And shows it in modernese:
Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

7 Possible solutions

Logic → Math → Allegory → Mythology. Also other non-verbal forms of communication, such as music… Poetry can be ±. ie It can help to alleviate enslavement to stale dead metaphors by reinvigorating with new ones.

7.1 Logic/Math

Are systems of exact language to safeguard us from the vagaries of loose speech. They need to be used and deployed more extensively and not just by specialists.

7.2 Allegory-Mythology

is what the ancients used. Note that allegory is very similar and very different from metaphor Different in scale Also different in conscious intention
Every participant — both spectator and actor — in a mythological enactment say of Ram-lila (Ramayana) knows that that there are two levels simultaneously. Saint kabir talks of 4 distinct levels:
One Ram dwelt in Dasharath’s home, (story)
One Ram resides within every being. (immanent)
One Ram has expanded this entire creation, (cosmic)
And one Ram is beyond all of them. (transcenden)t

8 Love

And finally if the saying “Make love not war” represents the law that humans will do the one or the other willy-nilly, maybe we need to practice love more actively??



2.1 Puns

2.2 Framing

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GCF Abstract

Our existence on planet Earth is characterised by three interacting components {Life, Values, Laws} which interact to produce a resultant ...