Metaphors on The Apprentice

The good people at the Macmillan Dictionary Blog, makers of Metaphorical English Month, sends news of this BBC piece featuring some of the best metaphors contestants on The Apprentice have used to advertise their business acumen and selling skills. Last year, Stuart Baggs described himself not as “a one-trick pony, I’m not a 10-trick pony. I’ve got a field of ponies waiting to literally run towards this job.” This embellishment of a metaphorical cliche is brilliant in and of itself, but its luster is enhanced by the metaphorical use of the word ‘literally’, which is increasingly deployed to emphasize that what is being said is absolutely not meant literally at all, resulting in a kind of metaphorical double negative, which I suppose makes this linguistic use alright.  Here are some other classic metaphors from the BBC piece:

 

Business is the new rock ‘n’ roll and I’m Elvis Presley. —Philip Taylor

 

Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there’s footsteps on the moon. —Melody Hossani

 

My first word wasn’t mummy, it was money. —Shibby Robati

 

For related metaphorical shenanigans, check out this piece from Forbes on the greatest advertising taglines of all time…