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I Is an Other

The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


“Sherlock Holmes could glance at a bowler hat and tell that its owner's wife had ceased to love him. In this brilliant book about metaphor James Geary is no less astonishing, as he deciphers the subtle implications embedded in advertising slogans, familiar slang and government double-talk…. You'll scarf down every page of I Is an Other and then ask for more.” —Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author of Book by Book and Classics for Pleasure

For lovers of language and fans of Blink and Freakonomics, New York Times bestselling author James Geary offers this fascinating look at metaphors and their influence in every aspect of our lives, from art to medicine, psychology to the stock market.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 15, 2010 – "Metaphorical thinking is the way we make sense of the world" and neurological research shows that humans experience pleasure when performing the "cognitive gymnastics" of deciphering metaphors to connect two dissimilar things, asserts Geary (The World in a Phrase) in a delightful examination that borrows for its title from a poem by Rimbaud, whose writing aimed to "upset conventional orders of perception." Tests on people who do not understand metaphors, such as those with Asperger's syndrome, uncover the roles that "mirror" and "Gnostic" neurons play in conceptual comprehension and long-term memory. Geary also analyzes how metaphors are used in advertising, scientific discoveries, economics, and politics. "Metaphors, once forgotten or ignored, are easily mistaken for objective facts," he warns, showing how metaphor "surreptitiously infiltrates our purchasing decisions." Voters, consumers, and investors interested in knowing how their decisions may be influenced by well-planned metaphors will be fascinated by Geary's adept explication of the metaphor's role in defining perceptions.

Customer Reviews

A good book on metaphors

I spent quite a bit of time looking for a good book on the subject of metaphors. Not much information exists about them online, other than English grammar websites that look at it purely as a facet of speech. I bought this as a physical book, and was thoroughly pleased. I personally cannot function without metaphors, and I was looking to better understand why I think the way I do. Although I still have many questions, I am very happy that this book exists.

Timely Treatise

Geary provides indispensable insight into a topic that touches nearly every aspect of our lives yet is seldom consciously considered.
"I is an Other" is a timely treatise for a world increasingly dominated by text messaging, microblogging, and social media.
Everyone should read this book.

I Is an Other
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Published: Feb 08, 2011
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings