I mention this a lot when I argue so I think it’s worth it to create a post about the subject. What is it? What are the examples? How should we communicate about it? Are there other questions we should ask about it?
I’ll pile some things.
Metaphor, analogy, hyperbole…
And I’ll be upfront, the tourette’s syndrome matters, and by extension neurodiversity and non-literal language matters in general. And I’m fine with questions. I’m pretty open about the tourette’s syndrome everywhere else and nothing has changed here.
Often when I argue I act like a non-literalism is a replacement for something else because it’s useful. No matter what the other person says it’s not the thing, it’s a representation. You can always ask the other person to show you what they feel strongly about. In a political context the fact that they can’t back up their words is useful. You can even point it out them, and I often do.
But that’s just arguments and politics, analogy can enhance learning in general. Creative exaggeration like hyperbole isn’t bad because I focus on it like an obstacle in arguments…
The last thing I’ll do is mention some things about me and non-literal language. It’s by no means everything or the best way to put it but it might matter to explain some of how I relate to the subject.
The literal meaning is present in my mind as a kind of priority item. It’s highly salient as professional language puts it. The other person’s use of the non-literal language is there too, it’s just often convenient to simply refuse to respect it in politics. Otherwise I choose what I do with the sensitivity in other situations. The strength of it can make things expressively difficult on occasion.
I’m also sensitive to anatomy in language as related priority item, think about the anatomical nature of many examples of non-literal language. Something “smells fishy”. Having a “rough” day The way the body is used in mockery is another example. It’s part of how at least some non-literal language works, use of the body, senses and more direct experience to convey other things.
I don’t know how related that is to sensitivity to anatomy as we see in current sex and gender issues. I’d put it in the region of the “expression” part of gender expression because of the tourettic action pattern related phenomena. For example palilalia is repition of speech, and pali-lalia relates to echolalia (mirroring of speech) corprolalia (obscene speech) and there’s gesture/movement (-praxia) and writing (-graphia) versions. So whatever is going on with me has to do with the programs the brain runs which connect action with anatomy.
So what is your relationship with non-literal language?