Metaphor as metastasis

An op-ed worth reading, if only for the opening epigraph (and, come to think of it, the essential closing verb in the quotation below).

What if, instead of that playful word bubble, we tried something a bit more accurately descriptive when growth at any cost became the goal. Say, “tumor”: “the dot-com tumor,” “the subprime tumor,” “the derivatives tumor.”

Would anyone seriously gainsay the highest possible vigilance over the proper functioning of their own body or doubt the need for strong regulation? Who, facing the prospect of a tumorous outbreak or living with a body demonstrably prone to such outbreaks, would entrust that body to a band of physicians blithely committed to laissez faire regarding these fatal bubbles of flesh?

Words matter. Metaphors frame thought. Pay them heed and tend them well.


from “The trouble with bubbles,” by Walter Murch and Lawrence Weschler, Los Angeles Times, 23 May 2010

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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