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    Default definition and example of figure of speech

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    Question: What is a figure of speech? Please give an example.

    Answer: A figure of speech is an expression (usually metaphorical) that is not meant literally. "It is water under the bridge" does not refer to literal water under a literal bridge but means that the matter has been dealt with and is no longer of any concern. If a matter is regarded as a "hot potato" that does not mean that it is literally a hot potato but that it is something nobody wants to touch.

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    "Koizumi juggles Iraq hot potato. Mainichi Shimbun March 19, 2003. Japanese citizens hold candles as they march during an anti-war demonstration in Tokyo."

    "US Senate Picks Up the NATO Hot Potato. Meanwhile, Russia Sells Missiles to Greek Cypriots. PHOENIX, ARIZONA. ... Don't let "the porkers" drop the NATO hot potato."

    "Labeling of genetically modified food is a hot potato."

    "Thus, the supporters of the plan played a game of "hot potato" before putting the waste in Nevada."

    "Of course, that is the current policy. Instead of throwing hot potatos around, we should give them back to the ones who grow them."

    "Class size responsibility one hot potato"

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