Benefits Of Figurative Language

Benefits Of Figurative Language

Figurative language is used by writers and speakers to convey ideas in a manner that will resonate with the audience in the most effective way. Through this article, we look at some of the key benefits of its usage and how each technique can provide various advantages.

  • Compared to other figurative language, expert therapists opt to use metaphors 95% of the time, demonstrating its effectiveness when dealing with mental health issues.
  • Consumers are better able to connect with a company or brand if personification is used to give it distinct human qualities.
  • People are more likely to be seen as persuasive if they use both figurative language and skilful gesturing.
  • Students are able to concentrate on spoken language more carefully if puns and jokes are present in the content.
  • The use of figurative language when naming food dishes can increase their perceived enjoyment and be used to encourage people to eat more healthily.
  • When communicating via word of mouth, figurative language can be more impactful than literal language.
  • Being able to understand figurative language increases our overall communication skills.
  • As we increase our knowledge of figurative language, we can increase our vocabulary and capability to think effectively.

Key benefits of figurative language

Artistic expression

Many authors and speakers use figurative language as a form of artistic expression. Just like in other art forms, expression in language allows the user to convey information through a range of different methods. This could be by making the words sound audibly appealing by assonance and consonance, using wordplay through puns or making use of deliberate contradictions through oxymorons. 

When combining together different types of figurative language, the audience can attempt to think about the words used through the eyes of the narrator. However, the end result should give each person a unique experience.

Creativity boost

Figurative language can boost the creativity of writers, speakers, readers and listeners alike. As it requires us to think in abstract ways, we are tested to find multiple meanings that can be created or understood from a single sentence or phrase. This process of creating or discovering multiple meanings from words encourages us to think outside of the box and beyond literal interpretations. 

When processing figurative language, the brain is tested as it gathers, links and draws conclusions using different information. From this, creativity is enhanced and each person attempts to understand the content in their own way.

Did you know, learning figurative language can have a positive effect on your vocabulary skills? If you are somebody that enjoys competing against others in different word games, it can be the difference between winning and losing!

However if you find yourself with trickier scrambled letters, try using WordsRated’s Word Finder. Simply enter your available letters and hit “search” to see a list of results. You can even search specifically for 5 and 6-letter words

Cultural awareness

Many figurative language techniques make use of well-known cultural references. Allusion is often used to draw comparisons for other works in the arts, idioms are unique to language, regions and settings and metaphors often require a level of topic specific understanding. 

As these are used, written works in particular can start to take on a level of rich significance for the culture they represent. This should reinforce the most important and recognized ideas.

Detailed storytelling

An important benefit of figurative language is that it can make for engaging storytelling. Describing living beings, objects, situations and ideas without using literal language alone allows writers and speakers to push the boundaries of their creativity. 

From this, audiences can find themselves more deeply involved in the narrative. Each sentence can seem more engaging and memorable, where symbolism can leave a larger impact.

Emotional response 

All types of figurative language are designed to cause a mix of emotional responses in the audience. For example, metaphors and similes can cause us to link together ideas that may not normally be associated together. On the other hand, euphemism and hyperbole can understate or overstate (respectively) different situations being described. 

The most exciting and engaging narratives can be those that allow us to feel positive and negative emotions. Whatever the type of figurative language being used, you can be sure that it has been chosen to impact our emotions in some way.

Heightened memorability

Combining together a range of figurative language techniques can make information much more memorable to the reader or listener. As part of their comprehension, the audience is forced to think harder about the details of the language being communicated in order to derive multiple meanings or subtlety from the words used. 

When compared to literal language, the emotional impact of figurative language can be much more memorable. Used correctly, it can strengthen any ideas that resonate to the audience on a personal level. 

Increased persuasion

Figurative language can be used by authors or speakers as a means of persuasion. This is more common for non-fiction or marketing/sales purposes, where it may be possible to convince the audience of an idea and cause them to act upon it. Specifically, euphemism and hyperbole can be used to understate or overstate an idea (respectively) and puns can add unexpected humor to topics. 

Combining these together, audiences can be swayed to hold certain beliefs or act in a certain way, just through the subtle power of language. Knowing this, it is no surprise that figurative language is used so frequently in business.

Mood and tone

Through figurative language, writers and speakers are able to better communicate the mood or tone they are looking to describe. Rather than specifically stating exactly how something is, they can use techniques such as similes and metaphors to highlight links between different ideas and onomatopoeia to bring to attention sounds made in a particular environment. 

Combining different figurative language techniques together, audiences can gain a better feel for the given narrative. This can allow them to become immersed through the detailed imagery created in their mind.

Provide nuance

Whereas literal language is very clear in what it describes, figurative language can create new meanings, especially through subtlety and nuance. Figurative language can be used to play down the true meaning of what is described (euphemisms) or hint at the true feelings of the writer or speaker (litotes). 

Using these can bring a whole new world of meaning to sentences and phrases, although the audience will still need to interpret these correctly in order for them to be effective. Nuance is often harder to pick up on, and as such may require a higher level of understanding.

Vivid imagery

One of the clearest benefits to using figurative language is the vivid imagery it can create in the minds of the audience. As figurative language is not intended to be understood in a literal sense, readers or listeners can find that their thoughts drift, linking related or unrelated ideas together and adding context to the narrative given. 

Where literal descriptions can be hard to focus on, figurative language can encourage engagement. Through visualization, interpretations can be slightly different for each individual, allowing for a more personal association with the subject matter.

Benefits of teaching figurative language to children

Teaching figurative language to children is associated with a number of mental and social benefits. Once each technique is learned, it can provide a platform for their continued learning.

  • Better communication – Practicing figurative language requires children to express their thoughts and feelings in a more creative and vivid fashion. When in conversation, their ideas will be more engaging and they will also be able to understand others at a more advanced level.
  • Improves language – When learning figurative language, children begin understanding abstract concepts and key nuances in text or when listening. Advancing beyond just literal meanings, they will be able to understand language on a deeper level while learning a range of new expressions.
  • Cognitive development – As children learn figurative language, they are encouraged to think both critically and in abstract ways. These different ways of thinking can test and improve their overall cognitive development, providing them benefits for the entirety of their lives.
  • Literary appreciation – Whereas previously they may not have had an appreciation for literature due to its perceived difficulty, learning figurative language can help children overcome this hurdle. As they start to gain an understanding of advanced passages of text, they may find that it is something they are passionate about.
  • Increases creativity – Figurative language enables children to think in ways that they normally would not have done, allowing them to see the world through different eyes. From this, they can gain creative skills that can pay dividends in many different areas.