Friday, 2 December 2011

Metaphors for our time

In my last speculation I drew attention to William Morris being memorably compared to a bell that rang true however you struck him.  The immediacy and physicality of this metaphor, carrying with it suggestions of sound (the double meaning here is pure poetry) as well as of touch, got me thinking about the possibility of more contemporary comparisons.  After all, few people nowadays actually engage in striking bells, and fewer and fewer even hear real bells very often.  So how might Morris's character have been described so succinctly using a modern metaphor?

'His customer service was always of the highest quality'
'Whatever the problem, his code was bug free'
'You never got to the end of his game'
'There were never any leaves on his railway'

I'm afraid this could easily become the sort of parlour game that Victor Meldrew would spend his life playing - I always have to control my VM tendencies, but I mean it seriously: are these solid, real life, physical metaphors thinner on the ground in the digital age?  Or am I just stuck in an unimaginative time warp?

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