【TED】是一个会议的名称,它是英文technology,entertainment, design三个单词的首字母缩写。它是社会各界精英交流的盛会,这里有当代最杰出的思想家,这里有当代最优秀的科学家,这里有迸发着最闪耀的思想火花,这里孕育着最光辉的梦想。
James Geary
Aphorism enthusiast and author James Geary waxes on a fascinating fixture of human language: the metaphor. Friend of scribes from Aristotle to Elvis, metaphor can subtly influence the decisions we make, Geary says.


Pay careful attention the next time you read the financial news. Agent metaphors describe price movements as the deliberate action of a living thing, as in, "The NASDAQ climbed higher." Object metaphors describe price movements as non-living things, as in, "The Dow fell like a brick." Researchers asked a group of people to read a clutch of market commentaries, and then predict the next day's price trend. Those exposed to agent metaphors had higher expectations that price trends would continue. They had those expectations because agent metaphors imply the deliberate action of a living thing pursuing a goal. If, for example, house prices are routinely described as climbing and climbing, higher and higher, people might naturally assume that that rise is unstoppable. They may feel confident, say, in taking out mortgages they really can't afford. That's a hypothetical example of course. But this is how metaphor misleads.
下次你看财经新闻可要注意,拟人化的暗喻用来描述价格运动,就像是有人有意那么做。比如:“NASDAQ指数攀至新高”。拟物化的暗喻用物体来描述价格运动,比如:“道琼斯指数象砖头一样下跌。” 研究人员请一群人在读了一些股评之后来预测第二天的股价走势。那些读过拟人化暗喻的人更多地期待股价走势会持续。而他们这样期待是由于拟人化的隐喻暗示了有人在刻意追逐一个目标。如果房价总是被说成是不断攀升,越走越高,人们自然会以为房价上升势不可挡。他们会感觉良好,以至于背负超过支付能力的按揭。当然这只是个虚构的例子。但是暗喻确实会这样误导人。