The figurative language of Erin Gloria Ryan

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I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a metaphor from Erin Gloria Ryan…

The former Managing Editor of Jezebel and former Deputy Editor for Vocative, Erin Gloria Ryan (pictured above) is now senior editor for The Daily Beast. I discovered her, however, on the pages of the New York Times, where she has written a sharply worded critique of Kellyanne Conway. I know, I don’t want to get all political in this blog post. But this piece of writing is just too cleverly written to ignore.

Here, to my mind, is the best metaphor the piece contained:

I liked watching her speak then. I watched her the way a person might stand at the kitchen window and watch a raccoon abscond with the first tomato of summer. I didn’t agree with what she was doing, but I admired her chutzpah.

This is almost the picture-perfect definition of a metaphor: a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. Ryan is not comparing Conway to a raccoon. She’s saying she has the chutzpah of one. Very clever.

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