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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
One evening I was taking a walk when I met a neighbor who has been undergoing cancer treatment. I asked him how he was doing. He told me he was done with chemo and radiation and surgery was next. He appeared to be in good spirits.
I said, “Well, you have completed two out of three treatments. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
We chitchatted a bit more and then I went on my way and he his. As I continued walking, it hit me how inappropriate my use of that metaphor was. He has colorectal cancer. Yes, the oncologist was literally going to shine a light at the end of the tunnel.
In my defense, it was a spur-of-the-moment comment. Idioms, metaphors, and other figurative usage are such an integral part of the language we use them without a second thought. A language is a big attic filled with knickknacks from grandparents and their grandparents, bric-a-brac acquired in our travels, thingamajigs received as gifts, and more.
This week we’ll feature five terms that are used metaphorically. What idioms or metaphors have you coined? Share below or email us at email@example.com. Google them first to make sure they are not already out there.
PS: How many idioms and metaphors did you catch in the above writeup?
1. Optimistic or cheerful, especially naively or to an unrealistic degree. Often used in the form “to see through rose-colored glasses”.
2. Of a bright pink or red color.
From Latin rosa (rose), from Greek rhodon (rose). Yes, a rhododendron is a rose tree, literally speaking. Earliest documented use: 1526.
“Tom Foley sometimes talked of the ‘60s in Congress with a certain rose-colored reverence.”
Jim Camden; Shutdown Wouldn’t Have Been Allowed; Spokesman Review (Spokane, Washington); Oct 20, 2013.
See more usage examples of rose-colored in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:The decent moderation of today will be the least of human things tomorrow. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the opinion of good sense and of the good medium was certainly that people ought not to burn too large a number of heretics; extreme and unreasonable opinion obviously demanded that they should burn none at all. -Maurice Maeterlinck, poet, dramatist, and Nobel laureate (29 Aug 1862-1949)