Getting to know people personally is a whole new concept

Concept here is used metaphorically right?

If yes, why the word choice ' concept ' ? I believe it can also be used hyperbolically, but would like to see other opinions

closed as unclear what you're asking by FumbleFingers, Chenmunka, Misti, choster, tchrist Jan 14 '15 at 8:25

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    I don't see any reason to believe it's being used anything but literally (ie according to its definition, strictly interpreted). What leads you to believe it's being used metaphorically? What's the metaphor (no jokes please :)? – Dan Bron Jan 13 '15 at 13:42
  • @Dan Bron Concept means an abstract idea. Getting to know people personally is an abstract idea does not make sense. Thus I think it is used metaphorically, I am not sure why though. I could be wrong. – metaphor_man_or_woman Jan 13 '15 at 13:44
  • Sure it makes sense. I'm struggling to understand why you think it does not. I'm being sincere here, and not trying to impugn you or your question in any way. – Dan Bron Jan 13 '15 at 13:45
  • @Dan Bron Oh absolutely, I was just interested in some discussion about this! – metaphor_man_or_woman Jan 13 '15 at 13:53
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is either a peeve or an invitation for ELU to participate in an "inconclusive" discussion. For my part I'd say a concept is an idea, which is as "abstract" as anything can be. – FumbleFingers Jan 13 '15 at 15:44


It would generally be taken to refer to the idea of getting to know people personally, which is a concept.

Being a "whole new concept" could mean that it hadn't occurred to somebody to try getting to know people personally, or hadn't occurred to try in a particular situation, or that it was so impossible for them in previous circumstances that they didn't even think of it.

As a "whole new concept" it my only be a concept (considered, but not acted upon) or it may coïncide with it actually happening. It could precede the act (consider, then acted upon) or follow the act (meet new people personally, then remark upon what has happened in the abstract).

But it can most certainly be a concept, and so is not a metaphor unless something further indicates that it is not.

Since just about anything can have a related concept, its hard to think how concept could ever be a metaphor.

It could though, very often be a hyperbole; where the speaker doesn't genuinely mean that the idea had never occurred to them before (which "whole new concept" entails) but that they'd so little considered it that they can exaggerate and say they never had.

  • Perhaps OP is confusing the "literal" usage whole new concept with the undeniably metaphoric whole nother ball game. – FumbleFingers Jan 13 '15 at 15:48
  • @FumbleFingers well, that is itself a whole nother ball game. And indeed, a whole nother concept. – Jon Hanna Jan 13 '15 at 15:53
  • Indeed. Obviously literal ball games abound (my preferred one being snooker rather than football). But I'm tempted to wonder whether metaphoric ball games are ever anything except whole nother. As with petrel, shrift, and dudgeon, for example, which are always stormy, short, and high. – FumbleFingers Jan 13 '15 at 16:06
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    @FumbleFingers there are the metaphoric ball games that people are presumably refusing to play, when they won't play ball. – Jon Hanna Jan 13 '15 at 16:09
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    @FumbleFingers lets keep our eye on the ball, so we don't bring in so much off-topic stuff that we balls this up. – Jon Hanna Jan 13 '15 at 16:42

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