How creative are you?
about cricket seems to make language users creative, witness
these creations: ‘One-day cricket is pyjama cricket and
twenty-twenty is underwear cricket’ and ‘India press
self-destruct button’. Yoking together dissimilar words
creates figurative language.
the linkage is implicit as in ‘humming factory’. With
simile, the linkage is explicit as in ‘she is busy as a bee’.
For paradox, there is the need to resolve a contradiction, as
this phrase shows: ‘ignorance is strength’. In structures
like ‘the sickle is in danger’, metonymy exists and one
attribute stands for the whole.
In an oxymoron,
incompatible notions are brought together, as in, for example,
‘living death’. Personification makes a link between the
inanimate and the human: ‘the pitch made its presence felt in
the match’. As different modes of figurative language, these
examples prove the long-standing thesis that is the beginning
and ending of every discussion about language: ‘language
belongs to the user’. In the hands of a playful user, it can
be a toy; in the hands of a solemn plodder, it plods on
unimaginatively or its creativity kicks the bucket.
bucket’ is a metaphorical euphemism for dying that is not
heard too often today. The word ‘bucket’ is borrowed from
Old French and it was the wooden beam or frame from which a live
pig or other animal would be suspended in the slaughterhouse.
When slaughtered, the animal would jerk spasmodically in the
throes of death and bang its feet against the wooden frame or
bucket and, in other words, it would ‘kick the bucket’.
Often, figurative expressions
can have many tales to tell. As is seen with the expression ‘face
the music’. In the military, as punishment, a soldier would be
made to stand before the band and listen to the beat of the drum
while his misdemeanours were read out, the punishment
administered and insignia torn. The theatrical tale harks back
to the days when the orchestra in theatres was positioned in the
pit between the stage and the audience. Going onstage to ‘face
the music’ could be as bad as facing your misdeeds!