We humans are skilled at “spicing up” our language by creating imagery. We take a common substance, like butter, give it a literary twist here and there, and come up with word pictures that have impact and meaning.
Butter has given us a number of interesting expressions and proverbial phrases.
1. “Butter fingers,” is someone who is always dropping something.
2. “You can’t have your bread buttered on both sides,” refers to someone making unrealistic demands.
3. “Don’t butter me up,” means: Don’t think you will get what you want from me by
words of flattery.
How dull would life be if butter and spice were merely butter and spice — if you couldn’t “spice up” a conversation with innovative references to “take that with a pinch of salt,” or “that was a riveting demonstration”?
Of course, that kind of thing can be overdone. We don’t want to “pepper” every sentence with too much imagery, but using it prudently can give a “flavour” to conversation that can be most stimulating.
How skilled are you in the prudent use of word imagery?