The power of a metaphor, I submit, is (i) the simplification of a complex idea, and/or (ii) some combination of representative elements that are meant to communicate an difficult meaning in a colourful, easy to understand manner.

In modern media, and common parlance, the use of metaphor seems to be pervasive, to the extent that I wonder if the representational purpose of the metaphor has been supplanted by the metaphor itself, and is therefore evidence of intellectual decay. I do not direct this at any particular nation or group. I observe this usage in a wide range of strata. But then, words themselves are representational in nature, although I think I can fairly say that this latter concern is within the de minimus range and can be igored.

I notice my own increasing use of metaphors and it bothers me, and I include myself in this indictment.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Drew, tchrist, andy256, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, Hellion Dec 30 '14 at 20:50

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    According to Douglas Hofstadter, analogy and metaphor are the essence of thinking: Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking – Barmar Dec 26 '14 at 15:47
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    Anyway, this doesn't seem like a language question, more of a psychology question. – Barmar Dec 26 '14 at 15:49
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    The answer to your question is "No". When you say "I notice my own increasing use of metaphors", what you really mean is that you're noticing your use of metaphors more often; i.e, your attention has been increasing, not your use of metaphors. That's good; the first step toward learning about something is to notice it. However, don't make any submissions about it until you more than a nodding acquaintance with the topic of Metaphor, which is not a matter of literature but of cognitive science. – John Lawler Dec 26 '14 at 15:51
  • The tenor of these comments is a disappointing introduction to this group. Analogy and metaphor are the essence of thinking, I agree; such is not inconsistent with my statements. As to fixation on my own personal observations, my QUESTION is clearly stated in the headline. The ONE SENTENCE about my own experience is to humanize my question; I don't seek an answer to that. And finally, I disagree with "don't make any submissions..." comment. This site headline says it is about "English language & usage" not literature. A patronizing response and not well considered. – Merlin Dec 26 '14 at 16:02
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    @John Lawler And a happy New Year. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 27 '14 at 2:10

Making up new metaphors is evidence of thinking. Repeating other peoples' metaphors, and especially applying them broadly to things or events that don't fit the intent of the metaphor, rather than coming up with a more apt one, is evidence of a lack of creative thinking. What you notice most in the media are metaphors that have becom cliché. But hey, if the metaphor fits, wear it. (I never metaphor I didn't like.)

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