I Is an Other : The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World, Paperback Book

I Is an Other : The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


"Sherlock Holmes could glance at a bowler hat and tell that its owner's wife had ceased to love him.

In this brilliant book about metaphor James Geary is no less astonishing, as he deciphers the subtle implications embedded in advertising slogans, familiar slang and government double-talk....

You'll scarf down every page of I Is an Other and then ask for more." -Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author of Book by Book and Classics for PleasureFor lovers of language and fans of Blink and Freakonomics, New York Times bestselling author James Geary offers this fascinating look at metaphors and their influence in every aspect of our lives, from art to medicine, psychology to the stock market.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Language: history & general works
  • ISBN: 9780061710292

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I have always tended to think of metaphors as statements like “ran like the wind” or “raven haired”; statements that are obvious comparisons. Geary points out that metaphor goes far deeper in our language; stocks ‘climb’ despite not having limbs, time races by or crawls, a person or situation can be a ticking time bomb while having nothing to do with actual explosives. Metaphor is so ingrained in humans that we aren’t even aware of it. Metaphors help explain the world to us; new things are explained by comparing them to things we already know. Metaphors are so deeply ingrained in our brains that we can easily be manipulated by others using them; advertisers and politicians use them all the time. The book is very interesting; the man knows what he’s talking about if the gigantic bibliography tells us anything. Recommended if you are interested in learning about how your brain works and perhaps making you aware of how metaphors can ‘prime’ you to feel and act in certain ways.

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