Managing Metaphor

An Introduction to the Deep Levels of English

This series of lectures examines one of the basic structures and functions of English — that is, metaphor.

What you’ll learn

  • You will gain an understanding of how metaphor creates meaning in English..
  • You will learn how to use the knowledge of metaphor to understand English at a deep level..
  • You will learn how to unlock new metaphors by applying knowledge of metaphor structure and function..
  • You will gain an understanding and appreciation of the rich expressiveness of English..
  • You will learn how top-level metaphors provide models for the construction of everyday, basic-level metaphors..

Course Content

  • Metaphor Overview –> 1 lecture • 7min.
  • Top-Level Metaphor –> 12 lectures • 1hr 15min.
  • Brainy Metaphors –> 5 lectures • 26min.
  • Internet –> 4 lectures • 29min.
  • Orientational Metaphors –> 4 lectures • 45min.

Managing Metaphor


  • Ability to understand basic spoken English..
  • Ability to read English at an intermediate level..
  • Comfortable dealing with abstract concepts..
  • Ability to apply patterns and processes to new situations and materials..

This series of lectures examines one of the basic structures and functions of English — that is, metaphor.

You will be introduced to the “metaphor as conceptual mapping” explanation of the metaphor-making process. This is central to our examination of common metaphors throughout the course and will give you a method of interpreting new metaphors as you meet them.

We will look at the work of George Lakoff, who has given us much to think about in regard to metaphor and how it functions. It may seem a bit theoretical, but it is helpful in understanding “metaphor as concept-mapping.”

An important part of the course will be about some of the “top-level metaphors” that provide the central relationships that control the formation of hundreds of the specific-level metaphors we use daily.

You may have been given the impression that metaphor is a limited feature of English writing or idiomatic spoken language, however, nothing could be further from the truth. English is fundamentally metaphorical in nature. If you understand THAT, and understand how metaphor is structured and functions, then you are better able to make sense of English the way native speakers do. And, if you are a native speaker, you will see your language in a totally new light — and, suddenly, a lot of those odd expressions you have been using all your life will suddenly make sense in a whole new way!

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