The figurative language of time…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about metaphors relating to time…

I just about gave up on the podcast S-Town, produced by the same team who brings us This American Life and Serial. Initially, the story of John B McLemore and a suspected murder in his small Alabama town just didn’t strike me as interesting enough. Fortunately, I read a review telling me that the program takes its most interesting detour at the end of episode two. So I persisted.

Wow! I’m so glad I stayed with it. In case you haven’t heard it, I won’t spoil the plot twist for you. But I can tell you the story is gripping and the ultimate payoff is enormous. Along the way, the show will also teach you about horology, or the art and science of measuring time — one of John B McLemore’s obsessions.

Did you know that sundials have mottos engraved on them? I didn’t. But when I heard some of these mottos listed in episode two, I was delighted by the figurative language they displayed.

Life passes like the shadow

Make haste but slowly

 [Life is] Tedious and brief

Use the hours, don’t count them

Even as you watch, I’m fleeing

Take the gifts of this hour

It’s later than you think

Simultaneously morose, sad and wistful, these mottos still make me smile for their utter truthfulness.


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