Piggydb Knowledge Example


"Metaphors We Live By" by George Lakoff, Mark Johnson

The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another → ...

"The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another." (#60 158)
"we are understanding one thing in terms of something else of the same kind. But in conventional metaphor, we are understanding one thing in terms of something else of a different kind." (#60 2910)
"an understanding of truth in terms of metaphorical projection is not essentially different from an understanding of truth in terms of nonmetaphorical projection. The only difference is that metaphorical projection involves understanding one kind of thing in terms of another kind of thing. That is, metaphorical projection involves two different kinds of things, while nonmetaphorical projection involves only one kind." (#60 2920)

Our ordinary conceptual system is fundamentally metaphorical in nature → ...

"Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature." (#60 124)
"The concept is metaphorically structured, the activity is metaphorically structured, and, consequently, the language is metaphorically structured." (#60 161)
"metaphor is not just a matter of language, that is, of mere words. We shall argue that, on the contrary, human thought processes are largely metaphorical." (#60 167)

experiential basis → ...

"In actuality we feel that no metaphor can ever he comprehended or even adequately represented independently of its experiential basis." (#60 396)
"Within the experientialist myth, understanding emerges from interaction, from constant negotiation with the environment and other people. It emerges in the following way: the nature of our bodies and our physical and cultural environment imposes a structure on our experience, in terms of natural dimensions of the sort we have discussed. Recurrent experience leads to the formation of categories, which are experiential gestalts with those natural dimensions. Such gestalts define coherence in our experience. We understand our experience directly when we see it as being structured coherently in terms of gestalts that have emerged directly from interaction with and in our environment. We understand experience metaphorically when we use a gestalt from one domain of experience to structure experience in another domain." (#60 3833)

experiential gestalt → ...

"experiential gestalts are multidimensional structured wholes. Their dimensions, in turn, are defined in terms of directly emergent concepts. That is, the various dimensions (participants, parts, stages, etc.) are categories that emerge naturally from our experience." (#60 1465)
"We have already seen that causation is a directly emergent concept, and the other dimensions in terms of which we categorize our experience have a fairly obvious experiential basis: Participants, Parts, Stages, Linear sequence, Purpose" (#60 1467)
"We have so far characterized coherence in terms of experiential gestalts, which have various dimensions that emerge naturally from experience. Some gestalts are relatively simple (CONVERSATION) and some are extremely elaborate (WAR)." (#60 1527)
"Experiential gestalts: Our object and substance categories are gestalts that have at least the following dimensions: perceptual, motor activity, part/whole, functional, purposive. Our categories of direct actions, activities, events, and experiences are gestalts that have at least the following dimensions: participants, parts, motor activities, perceptions, stages, linear sequences (of parts), causal relations, purpose (goals/plans for actions and end states for events). These constitute the natural dimensions of our direct experience. Not all of them will play a role in every kind of direct experience, but, in general, most of them will play some role or other." (#60 2997)

complex gestalts (metaphorically structured concepts) → ...

"There are also complex gestalts, which are structured partially in terms of other gestalts. These are what we have been calling metaphorically structured concepts. Certain concepts are structured almost entirely metaphorically." (#60 1528)

structural metaphors → ...

"Structural metaphors (such as RATIONAL ARGUMENT IS WAR) provide the richest source of such elaboration. Structural metaphors allow us to do much more than just orient concepts, refer to them, quantify them, etc., as we do with simple orientational and ontological metaphors; they allow us, in addition, to use one highly structured and clearly delineated concept to structure another." (#60 1119)

coherence over consistency → ...

"There is a difference between metaphors that are coherent (that is, "fit together") with each other and those that are consistent. We have found that the connections between metaphors are more likely to involve coherence than consistency." (#60 828)

prototypes → ...

"As Rosch (1977) has established, we categorize things in terms of prototypes. A prototypical chair, for us, has a well-defined back, seat, four legs, and (optionally) two armrests. But there are nonprototypical chairs as well: beanbag chairs, hanging chairs, swivel chairs, contour chairs, barber chairs, etc. We understand the nonprototypical chairs as being chairs, not just on their own terms, but by virtue of their relation to a prototypical chair." (#60 2135)
"We understand beanbag chairs, barber chairs, and contour chairs as being chairs, not because they share some fixed set of defining properties with the prototype, but rather because they bear a sufficient family resemblance to the prototype. A beanbag chair may resemble a prototypical chair in a different way than a barber chair does. There need be no fixed core of properties of prototypical chairs that are shared by both beanbag and barber chairs. Yet they are both chairs because each, in its different way, is sufficiently close to the prototype." (#60 2138)

criticism of objectivist view → ...

"On the objectivist view, a category is defined in terms of set theory: it is characterized by a set of inherent properties of the entities in the category." (#60 2129)
"We do not believe that there is such a thing as objective (absolute and unconditional) truth, though it has been a long-standing theme in Western culture that there is." (#60 2739)
"What it means to be a hard-core objectivist is to claim that there is an objectivist model that fits the world as it really is." (#60 3683)
"Within the myth of objectivism, the concern for truth grows out of a concern for successful functioning. Given a view of man as separate from his environment, successful functioning is conceived of as mastery over the environment." (#60 3825)

morality → ...

"Since morality is concerned with well-being, whether one's own or that of another, fundamental experiences concerning well-being give rise to conceptual metaphors for morality. People are better off in general if they are strong not weak; if they can stand upright rather than having to crawl; if they eat pure, not rotten, food; and so on. These correlations give rise to metaphors of morality as strength and immorality as weakness, morality as uprightness and immorality as being low, morality as purity and immorality as rot, and so on. Since you are better off if you have the things you need rather than if you don't, there is a correlation of well-being with wealth. Hence, there is a widespread metaphor in which moral action is conceptualized as increasing another's well-being, which is metaphorically understood as increasing their wealth. Immoral action, therefore, is conceptualized as decreasing another's wealth. Thus, if someone does you a favor, you are in her debt and seek to repay the favor. This is the basis of the metaphor of Moral Accounting, in which morality prescribes a balancing of the moral books." (#60 4084)
"The deep analysis of morality has important implications for politics, as shown by Lakoff's analysis of liberal and conservative worldviews on morality and politics. This analysis is based on two opposing models of the family, the nurturant parent and the strict father families (Lakoff 1996). Under the metaphor of The Nation as a Family, these opposing family models are transformed into moral and political worldviews that are fundamentally at odds. Such worldview metaphors tend to be so deeply pervasive that they organize other metaphors into moral and political conceptual systems." (#60 4092)

metaphor composition → ...

"new metaphorical ideas—that is, new ways of organizing and understanding experience—arise from the combination of simpler conceptual metaphors to form complex ones. Consequently, innovation and novelty are not miraculous; they do not come out of nowhere. They are built using the tools of everyday metaphorical thought, as well as other commonplace conceptual mechanisms." (#60 4098)

conceptual integration → ...

"conceptual integration: how conceptual structures are combined for use in particular cases, especially in imaginative cases. What is called blending or conceptual integration in blending theory seems to correspond to binding in the neural theory." (#60 4251)
"Blending theory makes use of Fauconnier's theory of Mental Spaces, relatively small mental models of particular situations that have been structured by the concepts in our conceptual systems. A blended space is a mental space that imaginatively combines elements of at least two other mental spaces that are structured by our ordinary long-term conceptual system." (#60 4253)

"The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway

"There was no cast net and the boy remembered when they had sold it. But they went through this fiction every day. There was no pot of yellow rice and fish and the boy knew this too." (#40 100)

"He always thought of the sea as la mar which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as el mar which is masculine. They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought." (#40 260)

"But, he thought, I keep them with precision. Only I have no luck any more. But who knows? Maybe today. Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready." (#40 289)

"He loved green turtles and hawk-bills with their elegance and speed and their great value and he had a friendly contempt for the huge, stupid loggerheads, yellow in their armour-plating, strange in their love-making, and happily eating the Portuguese men-of-war with their eyes shut." (#40 331)

if you said a good thing it might not happen

"Then he will turn and swallow it, he thought. He did not say that because he knew that if you said a good thing it might not happen." (#40 400)

"I wish I was the fish, he thought, with everything he has against only my will and my intelligence." (#40 621)

"“I told the boy I was a strange old man,” he said. “Now is when I must prove it.” The thousand times that he had proved it meant nothing. Now he was proving it again. Each time was a new time and he never thought about the past when he was doing it." (#40 645)

A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

"“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”" (#40 1043)

"The dentuso is cruel and able and strong and intelligent. But I was more intelligent than he was. Perhaps not, he thought. Perhaps I was only better armed." (#40 1045)

"What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" by Haruki Murakami

"Somerset Maugham once wrote that in each shave lies a philosophy. I couldn't agree more. No matter how mundane some action might appear, keep at it long enough and it becomes a contemplative, even meditative act." (#23 Foreword)

Keeping up the rhythm

"As long as I can run a certain distance, that's all I care about. Sometimes I run fast when I feel like it, but if I increase the pace I shorten the amount of time I run, the point being to let the exhilaration I feel at the end of each run carry over to the next day. This is the same sort of tack I find necessary when writing a novel. I stop every day right at the point when I feel I can write more. Do that, and the next day's work goes surprisingly smoothly. I think Ernest Hemingway did something like that. To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long-term projects. Once you set the pace, the rest will follow. The problem is getting the flywheel to spin at a set speed - and to get to that point takes as much concentration and effort as you can manage." (#23 p.4-5)

The standards you've set for yourself

"In the novelist's profession, as far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as winning or losing. Maybe numbers of copies sold, awards won, and critics' praise serve as outward standards for accomplishment in literature, but none of them really matter. What's crucial is whether your writing attains the standards you've set for yourself. Failure to reach that bar is not something you can easily explain away. When it comes to other people, you can always come up with a reasonable explanation, but you can't fool yourself. In this sense, writing novels and running full marathons are very much alike. Basically a writer has a quiet, inner motivation, and doesn't seek validation in the outwardly visible." (#23 p.10)

I run in order to acquire a void

"I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void. But as you might expect, an occasional thought will slip into this void. People's minds can't be a complete blank. Human beings' emotions are not strong or consistent enough to sustain a vacuum. What I mean is, the kinds of thoughts and ideas that invade my emotions as I run remain subordinate to that void. Lacking content, they are just random thoughts that gather around that central void." (#23 p17)

"In certain areas of my life, I actively seek out solitude. Especially for someone in my line of work, solitude is, more or less, an inevitable circumstance. Sometimes, however, this sense of isolation, like acid spilling out of a bottle, can unconsciously eat away at a person's heart and dissolve it. You could see it, too, as a kind of double-edged sword. It protects me, but at the same time steadily cuts away at me from the inside. I think in my own way I'm aware of this danger - probably through experience - and that's why I've had to constantly keep my body in motion, in some cases pushing myself to the limit, in order to heal the loneliness I feel inside and to put it in perspective. Not so much as an intentional act, but as an instinctive reaction." (#23 p20)

"I never had any ambitions to be a novelist. I just had this strong desire to write a novel. No concrete image of what I wanted to write about, just the conviction that if I wrote it now I could come up with something that I'd find convincing. When I thought about sitting down at my desk at home and setting out to write I realized I didn't even own a decent fountain pen." (#23 p.29)

Like water from a natural spring vs. Opening a hole in the hard rock and locating a new water vein

"Writers who are blessed with inborn talent can freely write novels no matter what they do - or don't do. Like water from a natural spring, the sentences just well up, and with little or no effort these writers can complete a work. Occasionally you'll find someone like that, but, unfortunately, that category wouldn't include me. I haven't spotted any springs nearby. I have to pound the rock with a chisel and dig out a deep hole before I can locate the source of creativity. To write a novel I have to drive myself hard physically and use a lot of time and effort. Every time I begin a new novel, I have to dredge out another new, deep hole. But as I've sustained this kind of life over many years, I've become quite efficient, both technically and physically, at opening a hole in the hard rock and locating a new water vein. So as soon as I notice one water source drying up, I can move on right away to another. If people who rely on a natural spring of talent suddenly find they've exhausted their only source, they're in trouble." (#23 p.43)

An unhealthy soul requires a healthy body

"Basically I agree with the view that writing novels is an unhealthy type of work. When we set off to write a novel, when we use writing to create a story, like it or not a kind of toxin that lies deep down in all humanity rises to the surface. All writers have to come face-to-face with this toxin and, aware of the danger involved, discover a way to deal with it, because otherwise no creative activity in the real sense can take place. (Please excuse the strange analogy: with a fugu fish, the tastiest part is the portion near the poison - this might be something similar to what I'm getting at.) No matter how you spin it, this isn't a healthy activity." (#23 p.96)
"But those of us hoping to have long careers as professional writers have to develop an autoimmune system of our own that can resist the dangerous (in some cases lethal) toxin that resides within. Do this, and we can more efficiently dispose of even stronger toxins. In other words, we can create even more powerful narratives to deal with these. But you need a great deal of energy to create an immune system and maintain it over a long period. You have to find that energy somewhere, and where else to find it but in our own basic physical being?" (#23 p.97)
"To deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible. That's my motto. In other words, an unhealthy soul requires a healthy body. This might sound paradoxical, but it's something I've felt very keenly ever since I became a professional writer. The healthy and the unhealthy are not necessarily at the opposite ends of the spectrum. They don't stand in opposition to each other, but rather complement each other, and in some cases even band together." (#23 p.98)

"When I'm in Japan I rarely have to speak in front of people. I don't give any talks. In English, though, I've given a number of talks, and I expect that, if the opportunity arises, I'll give more in the future. It's strange, but when I have to speak in front of an audience, I find it more comfortable to use my far-from-perfect English than Japanese. I think this is because when I have to speak seriously about something in Japanese I'm overcome with the feeling of being swallowed up in a sea of words. There's an infinite number of choices for me, infinite possibilities. As a writer, Japanese and I have a tight relationship. So if I'm going to speak in front of an undefined large group of people, I grow confused and frustrated when faced by that teeming ocean of words." (#23 p.100)

passed through → ...

"While I ran enduring all this, around the forty-seventh mile I felt like I'd passed through something. That's what I felt like. Passed through is the only way I can express it. Like my body had passed clean through a stone wall. At what exact point I felt like I'd made it through, I can't recall, but suddenly I noticed I was already on the other side. I was convinced I'd made it through. I don't know about the logic or the process or the method involved - I was simply convinced of the reality that I'd passed through.
After that, I didn't have to think anymore. Or, more precisely, there wasn't the need to try to consciously think about not thinking. All I had to do was go with the flow and I'd get there automatically. If I gave myself up to it, some sort of power would naturally push me forward." (#23 p.111-112)
"I’m me, and at the same time not me. That's what it felt like. A very still, quiet feeling. The mind wasn't so important. Of course, as a novelist I know that my mind is critical to doing my job. Take away the mind, and I'll never write an original story again. Still, at this point it didn't feel like my mind was important. The mind just wasn't that big deal." (#23 p.114-115)

An indirect metaphor for the fleeting nature of existence

"The end of the race is just a temporary marker without much significance. It's the same with our lives. Just because there's an end doesn't mean existence has meaning. An end point is simply set up as a temporary marker, or perhaps as an indirect metaphor for the fleeting nature of existence. It's very philosophical - not that at this point I'm thinking how philosophical it is. I just vaguely experience this idea, not with words, but as a physical sensation." (#23 p.115)

"On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" by Stephen King

Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open

"Gould said something else that was interesting on the day I turned in my first two pieces: write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right - as right as you can, anyway - it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it. If you're very lucky (this is my idea, not John Gould's, but I believe he would have subscribed to the notion), more will want to do the former than the latter." (#2 p.47)

Describing in terms of rough comparison

"Look - here's a table covered with a red cloth. On it is a cage the size of a small fish aquarium. In the cage is a white rabbit with a pink nose and pink-rimmed eyes. In its front paws is a carrot-stub upon which it is contentedly munching. On its back, clearly marked in blue ink, is the numeral 8."
"it is described in terms of rough comparison, which is useful only if you and I see the world and measure the things in it with similar eyes."
"We all understand the cage is a see-through medium; beyond that, we don't care. The most interesting thing here isn't even the carrot-munching rabbit in the cage, but the number on its back. Not a six, not a four, not nineteen-point-five. It's an eight. This is what we’re looking at, and we all see it."
(#2 p.97-98)

One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary

"Put your vocabulary on the top shelf of your toolbox, and don't make any conscious effort to improve it. (You'll be doing that as you read, of course ... but that comes later.) One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you're maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones." (#2 p.110)

The adverb is not your friend

"Consider the sentence He closed the door firmly. It's by no means a terrible sentence (at least it's got an active verb going for it), but ask yourself if firmly really has to be there. You can argue that it expresses a degree of difference between He closed the door and He slammed the door, and you'll get no argument from me ... but what about context? What about all the enlightening (not to say emotionally moving) prose which came before He closed the door firmly? Shouldn't this tell us how he closed the door? And if the foregoing prose does tell us, isn't firmly an extra word? Isn't it redundant?" (#2 p.118)

Fear is at the root of most bad writing

"I'm convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing. If one is writing for one's own pleasure, that fear may be mild - timidity is the word I've used here. If, however, one is working under deadline - a school paper, a newspaper article, the SAT writing sample - that fear may be intense. Dumbo got airborne with the help of a magic feather; you may feel the urge to grasp a passive verb or one of those nasty adverbs for the same reason. Just remember before you do that Dumbo didn't need the feather; the magic was in him." (#2 p.121)

Stories and novels consist of: Narration, Description and Dialogue

"In my view, stories and novels consist of three parts: narration, which moves the story from point A to point B and finally to point Z; description, which creates a sensory reality for the reader; and dialogue, which brings characters to life through their speech." (#2 p.159)

Plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren't compatible → ...

"I distrust plot for two reasons: first, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren't compatible."
"I want you to understand that my basic belief about the making of stories is that they pretty much make themselves. The job of the writer is to give them a place to grow (and to transcribe them, of course)."
(#2 p.159)

The use of simile and other figurative language

"Both are okay, but I like the figurative stuff. The use of simile and other figurative language is one of the chief delights of fiction - reading it and writing it, as well. When it's on target, a simile delights us in much the same way meeting an old friend in a crowd of strangers does. By comparing two seemingly unrelated objects - a restaurant bar and a cave, a mirror and a mirage - we are sometimes able to see an old thing in a new and vivid way." (#2 p.176)

The key to writing good dialogue is honesty

"As with all other aspects of fiction, the key to writing good dialogue is honesty."
"You must tell the truth if your dialogue is to have the resonance and realism that Hart's War, good story though it is, so sadly lacks"
"The point is to let each character speak freely, without regard to what the Legion of Decency or the Christian Ladies' Reading Circle may approve of. To do otherwise would be cowardly as well as dishonest, and believe me, writing fiction in America as we enter the twenty-first century is no job for intellectual cowards. There are lots of would-be censors out there, and although they may have different agendas, they all want basically the same thing: for you to see the world they see ... or to at least shut up about what you do see that's different."
(#2 p.184-185)

Character-driven story

"I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event, which is to say character-driven. Once you get beyond the short story, though (two or four thousand words, let's say), I'm not much of a believer in the so-called character study; I think that in the end, the story should always be the boss." (#2 p.189)


"Symbolism (and the other adornments, too) does serve a usefull purpose, though - it's more that just chrome on the grille. It can serve as a focusing device for both you and your reader, helping to create a more unified and pleasing work. I think that, when you read your manuscript over (and when you talk it over), you'll see if symbolism, or the potential for it, exists. If it doesn't, leave well enough alone. If it does, however - if it's clearly a part of the fossil you're working to unearth - go for it. Enhance it. You're a monkey if you don't." (#2 p.200)

Good fiction always begins with story and progresses to theme

"When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you're done, you have to step back and look at the forest. Not every book has to be loaded with symbolism, irony, or musical language (they call it prose for a reason, y'know), but it seems to me that every book - at least every one worth reading - is about something. Your job during or just after the first draft is to decide what something or somethings yours is about. Your job in the second draft - one of them, anyway - is to make that something even more clear. This may necessitate some big changes and revisions. The benefits to you and your reader will be clearer focus and a more unified story. It hardly ever fails." (#2 p.201)
"I should close this little sermonette with a word of warning - starting with the questions and thematic concerns is a recipe for bad fiction. Good fiction always begins with story and progresses to theme; it almost never begins with theme and progresses to story." (#2 p.208-209)

It's always easier to kill someone else's darlings than it is to kill your own

"If you've never done it before, you'll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience. It's yours, you'll recognize it as yours, even be able to remember what tune was on the stereo when you wrote certain lines, and yet it will also be like reading the work of someone else, a soul-twin, perhaps. This is the way it should be, the reason you waited. It's always easier to kill someone else's darlings than it is to kill your own." (#2 p.213)

If there's a gun on the mantel in Act I, it must go off in Act III

"There's an old rule of theater that goes, "If there's a gun on the mantel in Act I, it must go off in Act III."" (#2 p.290)