Information Metaphor Glossary
This is a collection of metaphors I’ve been compiling which are used to describe information, focused (for now) on two categories; information as light, and information as liquid. I’ll add to and reorder this list over time, and bring in additional categories as appropriate, but for now it’s supporting the work of the TENETS project.
John V Willshire, 13th December 2020
Information as light
Sight, and its object light, appear to be universal metaphors in human language for intellectual apprehension or activity and its objectsDorothy Tarrant
It was an age of enlightenment
She has a sparkling imagination
They were desperately seeking illumination
We need some clarity
A flash of inspiration struck her
He had the spark of ingenuity
It was a real lightbulb moment
What lights you up inside?
There’s a wide spectrum of possibilities
She’s one of our brightest and best
What has been brought to light?
What does it look like in the cold light of day?
The fog is lifting
We don’t want to be in the dark on this one
He has a dark side to watch out for
It’s like living in the dark ages
Focus your attention
We need to zoom in
Let’s zoom out
View the problem through a different lens
Is this in scope?
How can we shed light on this issue?
Let’s shine a light on this
How do we frame this?
We’ve got that market in our sights
Let’s pause for reflection
Have we got a line of sight?
It’s now a bit clearer
Work such as theirs will help to elucidate this matter
This seems a bit obscure
His intentions are a little opaque
There’s a lack of transparency
This is a murky business
This is pure speculation
It’s in our peripheral vision
What’s the big picture?
In retrospect, it wasn’t such a good idea
We need to face facts
Can we see the best way forward now?
What’s our North Star to follow?
From her new vantage point, all seemed clearer
He had a different way of looking at the world
It was a glaring omission
It dawned on me
She brought a fresh perspective
Do you have a view on this?
They produced the key insight
Nobody could have known, in hindsight
She seemingly had a natural gift of foresight
There’s light at the end of the tunnel
What’s the outlook?
Have we had a recent forecast?
Information as liquid
How do we improve idea flow?
How do we cascade this information?
Let’s have a brain storm
We’re drowning in data
He has a permanent reservoir of ideas
We’ve got it all stored in the cloud
We’ve got a good pool of ideas
How do we get value from the data lake?
Let’s allocate this in different buckets
Let’s start channelling these thoughts
We’re at the mercy of the currents
The situation is quite fluid
Our thinking is a bit stagnant
I’m just trying to soak all this up
What’s happening below the surface?
We’re going against the tide
She’s surfing the internet
It’s a stream of consciousness
Her works are imbued with a sense of purpose
He has a thirst for knowledge
Data is the new oil
There’s a firehose of data
She’s the fountain of knowledge in this area
The news has started to leak out
Their investments are hidden in dark pools
The country is facing a brain drain
We’ve stored it all in a data lake
This problem is like an iceberg on the horizon
Under a cloud of suspicion
I don’t have the foggiest idea
Think tank (ht @beh_zod)