tanru are not metaphors rant

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Some Lojban propaganda conflates tanru and metaphor. Look at the description of lujvomak.zip: "analyze a lujvo into its component metaphor". This sentence is dropping in "metaphor" for tanru, presumably so that innocent web visitors will see more familiar terminology.

Some tanru are metaphors, but most are not. Some Lojban metaphors are tanru, but most are not. The words tanru and "metaphor" are so different in meaning that I find it hard to understand how one can be used to mean the other.

See also figurative language.

mi'e jezrax


Well, you're correct.

  • Inherited from JCB who was a veritable Humpty-Dumpty when it came to terms for features of his language or linguistic thought.

"tanru are not metaphors" is a misleading, malylogji phrase, since it was just admitted that some tanru are indeed metaphors. it should be rephrased as "tanru are not necessarily metaphors, and vice versa"

Heh. It means "tanru are not the same thing as metaphors". If I'd written it in Lojban, it would have been unambiguous! mi'e jezrax


While it is true that tanru are not necessarily metaphors, it seems to be the case that, after the pedestrian utilitarian lujvo (sel- compounds and the like) and the simplest sorts of compacting (brode broda from broda le brode and the like), the most successful lujvo come from tanru that are metaphors. This because (at least in part) they are short, whereas totally transparent tanru m(=~ definitions) are long and clunky. It is also (in part) because they are clever, catchy, witty. They do tend to generate charges of mal-something or other or to go against cultural neutrality. But they are still good.