Metallage


Metallage (me-tal’-la-gee): When a word or phrase is treated as an object within another expression.

I am standing here looking into the wind and wondering “How did I get here? Will I ever actually know what ‘here’ is? I know where here is–right now, it’s a drainage ditch on the roadside of life: I’m up to my knees in anxiety.

But I will never know what here is–it keeps moving there. I know there’s a definition in the dictionary: I’ve read it and it does not provide an answer that is adequate: “at this place.” What is “at”? What is “this”? What is “place”?  However, when the Animals sang “We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place,” I think it was quite clear that “place” was a far-reaching metaphor for social and economic circumstances. So, was there a “here” there?

I think knowing where “here” is (it’s there), is good enough. “Here” isn’t necessary to find your way around, unless you don’t want to start from “somewhere.” So, let’s pause here and have another piece of my birthday cake–it’s right over there under the cat.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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