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Jeannette Littlemore

The Way You Tell It: the benefits and drawbacks of non-literal expression in everyday life

Hay Festival 2017, 

Metaphors, metonymy, irony, hyperbole – non-literal expression is one of the primary tools for achieving economy of expression, clarity, persuasiveness, politeness and the communication of emotions. However, the potential for misunderstanding increases dramatically in situations where participants lack shared background knowledge or have significantly different views of the world. Littlemore is Professor of English Language and Applied Linguistics at University of Birmingham.