Friday, November 12, 2010

Comparative Cultural Metaphors

I have been thinking about how different cultures use different metaphors for the same concepts and the consequences of those differing metaphors.  For example, in the U.S., employees get “laid off.” In Great Britain, they are declared “redundant.” Assuming that these metaphors retain some vitality, the American metaphor seems gentler. The employee sort of slides away from the job. With the British metaphor, the employer declares the employee useless, redundant.  Does this redundancy make the employee feel worthless? Does it suggest to the employee that challenging an improper decision by the employer would be useless?


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