Reducing surgical margins in dermatofibrosarcoma.

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"Time is money." How often have heard that statement? Probably many times and in various contexts. By thinking about time as money, you can create some powerful images. Time wasted is money down the drain. Time well spent is an investment. The seconds are ticking away.

A direct comparison between two unrelated or indirectly linked things is called a metaphor. And as we see in the example of "time is money," metaphors can create strong images that can be used to great effect in everyday communications and thinking.

The manager who stands up in front of his team and says, "We need to finish this work quickly", creates considerably less impact that the manager who opens his comments using the metaphor: "As we all know, time is money." The English language is littered with metaphors, and this is testimony to the their power.

So metaphors can be used to improve communications: They can add impact or can help you explain a difficult concept by association with a more familiar one. Metaphorical thinking can also be used to help solve problems: Use and extend metaphors to generate new ideas for solutions.

The simple metaphor format is "A is B", as in "time is money". Metaphors can also be indirect or implicit: "That's a half-baked idea". This metaphor compares ideas with part-cooked food – without mentioning the food!