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Metallic metaphors

It’s autumn here in Blighty, not a season that every country is lucky enough to enjoy and there are some truly gorgeous colours to be seen on the trees at the moment. I relish the chance to use unusual, yet appropriate colour names to describe what I see around me, crimson and russet, burnt umber and ochre. It’s also common in English to use the names of metals in this context, such as gold, bronze and copper and this led me to realize how many of these metallics we employ to describe the weather. The grass may be silver with frost and sky might be as grey as iron or tungsten on a stormy day. In summer, the sky may be cobalt blue and filled with golden sunshine. Are these metallic metaphors used in your own language?

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Beth Penfold


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