Word Hero Chapter Ten
Most of the exercises on this site tell you how to do things with figures and tropes. In this exercise, we'll undo a trope; specifically, the metaphor.
Since politicians and their handlers abuse us voters with metaphors, let's abuse their metaphors. Write down some random nouns. Choose one. Now swap it for a political metaphor. Suppose your chosen word is carrot.
Politician: The Democrats are waging class warfare.You: The Democrats are really waging a class carrot.
Now try to justify your strange choice. Some people may not like carrots, but they're good for us. You have to uproot things to get a carrot. Taxes are like carrot seeds--their goodness is hidden at first. And so on. Now, what if your word was planet? Or box-top? Or gumboil?
So what's the point of this exercise? To show how easily justified--and equally silly--most political metaphors are. Imposing taxes on the rich are indeed like waging war, in small, trivial respects. But the policy is equally like a carrot. Or a box-top. And not like any of these things.
Every kid should be taught this inoculation technique. It'll lead to a less gullible electorate.
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