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Metaphor is a deep thing, it's very hard to discern the presence of which.

When I very learned the term. All I was is "no 'like or as'". Typically you say "is" to connect one thing to the other (which if I remember correctly are called "tenor" and "vehicle"), but a metaphor isn't really limited to it.

Now here are some examples, I am uncertain whether which are metaphors.

  1. Book makes a great gift. (Whether books are great gifts)

  2. The dance revolution was fought on many fronts, but the key battle took place at Vermont's Bennington College. ( dance revolution is a war? Anything else?)

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The first one is not a metaphor because it is simply stating that books make a great gift. The second one is an extended metaphor. This is because the sentence is setting dance and war as equal things, and stating one is the other in multiple comparisons.

  • Uhhh, do you mind elaborating on what you said? Like how 1 is not? – most venerable sir Jul 2 '15 at 20:32
  • But can't make = is? In a sense? If not Why not – most venerable sir Jul 2 '15 at 20:35
  • For clarification, "A metaphor is a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect, thus highlighting the similarities between the two." according to Wikipedia. – RK01 Jul 2 '15 at 20:37
  • The simile/metaphor distinction is really just a trivial irrelevancy that would barely be worth exploring even on English Language Learners. On ELU it's more appropriate to take the view that all language is figurative, rather than get hung up over whether using make as a "copula" in contexts such as You make a fine parent, Dad! can meaningfully be called a "literal" usage. – FumbleFingers Jul 2 '15 at 20:57
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Metaphor - "a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect, thus highlighting the similarities between the two."

In your first example, it is clearly stated the a book is a great gift. There is nothing unrelated being identified with. This is not a metaphor, just a simple statement.

In the second example, there is a metaphor. The dance revolution here likely refers to how dance changed over time. In this case, the metaphor is coming from two different definitions of revolution.

revolution - "a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people's ideas about it."

revolution - "a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system."

A dance revolution is unrelated to a revolution that involves war, but in this example, a war metaphor is used to refer to the dance revolution due to the two different definitions of revolution.

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