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Critical Thinking And Metaphors

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Critical Thinking and Language

PART 1: Metaphors are often confused with similes and/or analogies and are, at times, difficult to differentiate. A metaphor is "a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them" (Merriam-Webster, 2006). My grandfather, which I refer to as "my Papaw", was a great influence in my life. I like to write about him, using metaphors, to pass on to my children to keep his memory fresh in their minds.

My Papaw was very frugal with his money. I often told him that he was so rich that he would drown in his own money. He was a member of a local church where he was referred to as Brother Kenneth by the fellow church members and community. When I would confide in him regarding my boyfriends he would always say, "There are other fish in the sea". Also, he would instruct me that playing hard-to-get was the best way to lure young men in. I weep for him and realize, now, that his words rang true and I cherish all of his advice.

PART 2: Language can be a powerful tool when used in an environment of understanding and collaboration. Currently there are 6,912 languages used throughout the world, therefore, they play a key role in the critical thinking process if the languages collide without translation (Gordon, 2005). Language can limit our critical thinking processes, the way we convey our thoughts, and the influence our critical thinking has on the persuasion process.

Understanding a language can be underestimated when surrounded by intimidating environments. For example, being hospitalized in a foreign country without being able to interpret the language being used around you could add an immense amount of stress to the situation, consequently, the patient would be unable to critically think and evaluate the circumstances. In the same respect, caring for a patient that can not comprehend or translate what the staff is questioning or instructing can modify the treatment plan and/or the critical thinking process involved in the patient's care. When a communication problem is detected, the plan of care for a patient must be extended to include anxiety due to the fear of the unknown. The critical thinking process for the care giver then must include a communication avenue to instruct the patient of the procedures and treatment plans being implemented.

Since the prehistoric times, people have always had a mode of communication whether it involved signs, symbols, written alphabet, or organized language. Formal language gives us (today's society) the power to verbalize, or express, ourselves to each other. Thoughts or emotions can be expressed in a variety of ways; however, language seems to be the universal



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