Figurative Language versus Literal Language

Figurative Language versus Literal Language

Figurative Language versus Literal Language.

Figurative Language versus Literal Language: Figurative language can sometimes be misunderstood and misused which can make literal thinking to be difficult and unproductive. During the communication process, understanding the meaning and use or function of a term is very important.

Literal terms get misused daily, and this makes communication difficult and misunderstandings arise in the process of encoding and decoding a message. Figurative language is applicable when describing something by comparing it with another, while literal language remains exactly the way it says (Berwick, 1999).

Idiom- An idiom is an expression that is use to describe two or more words that present a dissimilar phrase or implication, than that of the valid or literal meaning. According to (Andrew, 2002) the role of idioms is to translate or replace the original or literal meaning of the words to a different meaning.

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That bunch of numpties kicked his ass that he went bananas and buzzed off. The figurative meaning is that group of idiots beat him that he went insane and got away. The literal meaning is that. The bunch of numpties kicked him at his ass that he went bananas then he buzzed off.

Literature has played a big role in defining and describing the various literal devices. To describe what they represent in the English language. But for effective communication, people need to figure on how to engage in productive thinking. By using the different poetic tools, to make the language easy to understand.


Andrew, L. (2002). Defining literature terms. Audible publications

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