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I know that the metaphors reveal the user’s inner thoughts and emotions, as they have done in the survey responses.
I then often make an effort to avoid using them for fear that I am revealing something about myself that I don’t want to give away.
I find that this happens both in my academic and non-academic communications.
And sometimes I use metaphors because I feel the need to aid my audience’s understanding of what I’m trying to say.
This change in me also reflects a change in my attitude to the participants in my research.
Metaphors are very useful in this way as they express some of the personality of the person and provide insights into their thinking.
Searching for metaphors in my survey responses has heightened my sensitivity to them.
Doing research is an emotional as well as an intellectual occupation. We make every effort to keep our feelings from influencing the results but we can’t keep ourselves from being affected personally by the work and results of the research.
Because of the nature of my Ph D, I am writing my thesis in the form of a story about my research, including how it has changed me.
I am now more aware of them in my own speech and writing and those of other people.
This has changed my own ways of talking and writing because I feel the need to control my own use of metaphors.