Thursday, February 05, 2004

(Off-topic) And you thought Janet's show was shocking. ...
A police investigation has begun after a show that included dozens of sheep heads on stakes, a literal blood bath and a naked, crucified woman.
(On-topic) Let's talk about "literal blood bath." Is that right?

First, what's the difference between literal and figurative language? One explanation:
Words in literal expressions denote what they mean according to common or dictionary usage, while words in figurative expressions denote something other than what they mean according to common or dictionary usage.
The definition of bloodbath is "a great slaughter" or "indiscriminate killing." So, according to the above explanation, the concert show certainly was not a bloodbath (unless the author was talking about the sheep). But if they meant that, why add in "literal"?

But bloodbath has an obvious figurative origin when broken down: blood bath, a bath of blood, like "milk bath" only not so pleasant.

So is the literal meaning of bloodbath its dictionary definition or bathing in blood?


Post a Comment

<< Home