Idioms are words, phrases or sentences that have figurative meaning (Gibbs 288). They are commonly used in linguistics as expressions to give out a hidden meaning of a message that is being conveyed. The interpretation of idioms are completely different with the direct interpretation the words that make the phrase or sentence. Idioms are therefore viewed as figures of speech since they contradict the principle of compositionality (Gibbs 301). An example of an idiom that is widely used in speech and literature is A Piece of Cake.
The idiom A piece of Cake is used commonly in speech and literature in the modern world. It is used to refer to a task that can easily be done easily. The idiom used the word cake to show how pleasant the task is thus making it easy to complete. This is because cakes are sweet and many people love to eat cakes.
The idiom is of American origin. It can be traced back to the 1930`s when it was first seen in the work of a poet named Ogden Nash. The poet used it in his poem entitled promise path in 1936. Here he used the idiom to show that life is easy as a result of a success that was highly anticipated. He therefore referred to life as being a piece of cake.
This term is easy to understand and apply in the everyday language. The idiom is straight forward since it does not need a deeper explanation or an in-depth analysis to understand its meaning. It can therefore be used by any one at any time. Due to its simplicity, the phrase can be used by people of different ages, cultures and backgrounds.
One does not need to be learned to understand and apply its meaning in the everyday language or literature. The phrase can also be applied in several situations which an individual needs to express the simplicity of the task in hand. Due to this fact therefore, the phrase has found a lot of application in the speech and English literature all around the world.
The term tells a lot about our culture and society. First, the term like many other idioms is used to give an indirect meaning of a message. This therefore enriches the language by making it to be somewhat sophisticated. The phrase also gives an impression of literacy and learnedness in the culture of the people who use it.
The use of a sophisticated language is always related to those individuals who are learned thus gaining a lot of respect in the society. Furthermore, idioms are colloquial metaphors they indicate a foundation of knowledge, information and experience (Gibbs 288). That is why such a phrase can only be applied in a given culture and not the whole world. This is because it was developed by people who have common experience and understanding. It is therefore rendered as meaningless outside the culture of origin.
The phrase is not detrimental in any way. In fact, it has developed language by giving it a stronger base. The fact that it has no harm to the society or anything in general has made it to have a wide application even outside its culture of origin. That is why the phrase has been adopted and used by many other cultures all around the world.
Gibbs, R.W. The poetics of mind: figurative thought, language, and understanding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994