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  1. #1
    LeTyan is offline Member
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    Default Does using animal in your metaphor make one sound like a kid?

    Hi,

    I was watching a interview. All of sudden, the hostess said something was like a dinosaur(I can't remember exactly what it was. It was like a product that's no longer popular and it's dying out or something like that). So I was like, what? Are you a kid? Why do you have to use animal in your metaphor? Adults don't usually talk like that unless they are talking to kid.
    I understand the content in my question is highly subjective. So I would like to know what you guys think.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Does using animal in your metaphor make one sound like a kid?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    Hi,

    I was watching a interview. All of sudden, the hostess said something was like a dinosaur(I can't remember exactly what it was. It was like a product that's no longer popular and it's dying out or something like that). So I was like, what? Are you a kid? Why do you have to use an animal in your metaphor? Adults don't usually talk like that unless they are talking to kids.
    I understand the content in my question is highly subjective. So I would like to know what you guys think.

    Thank you!
    If something is said to be "like" a dinosaur, then that is actually a simile; not a metaphor.
    In the UK, this particular simile/metaphor is used extensively by adults, including politicians, writers and broadcasters, to indicate an individual or organisation which is out of date with modern trends or affairs. The use of animal-related metaphors is certainly not confined to communicating with children: one hears of "old bulls", "wounded elephants", and "press hyenas" all the time.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. #3
    LeTyan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Does using animal in your metaphor make one sound like a kid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    If something is said to be "like" a dinosaur, then that is actually a simile; not a metaphor.
    In the UK, this particular simile/metaphor is used extensively by adults, including politicians, writers and broadcasters, to indicate an individual or organisation which is out of date with modern trends or affairs. The use of animal-related metaphors is certainly not confined to communicating with children: one hears of "old bulls", "wounded elephants", and "press hyenas" all the time.
    Thanks Grumpy! That's definitely some new knowleadge I learned today. We also have animal-related idioms in Chinese that are widely used as well. But in Chinese we barely say something or someone is "like" a certain type of animal. So I guess it's the cultural difference that made things hard for me to fathom.
    Just to check, you mean people do use the word "dinosaur" to indicate an individual or organisation which is out of date with modern trends or affairs. Am I right?

  4. #4
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Does using animal in your metaphor make one sound like a kid?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    Hi,
    So I was like, what? Are you a kid? Why do you have to use animal in your metaphor? Adults don't usually talk like that unless they are talking to kid.
    I guess you know that 'kid' is an animal metaphor.

  5. #5
    LeTyan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Does using animal in your metaphor make one sound like a kid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I guess you know that 'kid' is an animal metaphor.
    Haha! Oh yes most definitely! When I am eating at a resturant, kids just keep running around like unleashed dogs, endangering all the servers like hell!

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Does using animal in your metaphor make one sound like a kid?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    Haha! Oh yes most definitely! When I am eating at a resturant, kids just keep running around like unleashed dogs, endangering all the servers like hell!
    That may be, but do you understand that a "kid" is a baby goat?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Does using animal in your metaphor make one sound like a kid?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    Adults don't usually talk like that unless they are talking to kid.
    They do in English- animal idioms and metaphors are for all ages.

  8. #8
    Grumpy's Avatar
    Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Does using animal in your metaphor make one sound like a kid?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeTyan View Post
    Thanks Grumpy! That's definitely some new knowledge I learned today. We also have animal-related idioms in Chinese that are widely used as well. But in Chinese we barely say something or someone is "like" a certain type of animal. So I guess it's the cultural difference that made things hard for me to fathom.
    Just to check, you mean people do use the word "dinosaur" to indicate an individual or organisation which is out of date with modern trends or affairs. Am I right?

    Yes. It's normally used as a metaphor, rather than a simile, as in "That politician doesn't believe in equal pay for women. He's a complete dinosaur."

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