Orangeville, ON (My Corner Office) A recent article I read discussed the importance of monitoring one’s “emotional gas tank” to avoid burnout. As there is no literal fuel tank in the human body, this is a metaphor, a figure of speech. 

It is often useful to add related words that continue to play on the comparison within a metaphor. This will heighten the delight of a novel turn of phrase. As an example, we could be filling or emptying the gas tank; selecting high-quality gasoline; watching the dashboard indicators; or the possibility of an explosion.  

Many business advertisements utilize extended metaphors to enchant the reader.

One page on Gordon Graham’s website is entitled “White Paper Checkups: Your Document Needs a Check-Up.” In addition to humorous illustrations, Graham offers the words “on life support,” “diagnose the health of your document,” “test results,” and “our personal prescription.”

A large number of extended metaphors convey a perky, playful tone. Think of your brainstorming options in that light and make sure that they have not been used a million times before.