"Words therefore may be called Thoughts in Vehicle."

— Forbes of Pitsligo, Alexander Forbes, Lord (1678-1762)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Osborn and T. Longman
"Words therefore may be called Thoughts in Vehicle."
Metaphor in Context
Words therefore may be called Thoughts in Vehicle. We find Ideas are convey'd to the Ear by certain Sounds, and to the Eye by the more arbitrary Dashes of a Pen or a Stamp. How Minds are agreed about the meaning of these Sounds and Strokes, is not easy to conceive, without having recourse to the Instruction of Heaven in the first Parents. We see how it goes now by Imitation: the Organs of Speech are form'd in Children by degrees insensibly; and their Minds ripen the same way, to find out the meaning of what is said to them. But it is not conceiveable how any number of old People meeting together, who had not learn'd to speak in their Infancy, should be able to contrive any Language at all: it would be nothing but Cries, and Signs, and Confusion. For, admitting that the strongest, and the loudest Person should force the rest to call a thing by the same Name he took in his head to express it by, what should become of all the intermediate Parts of Speech necessary to connect those arbitrary Terms together? The Invention will appear impracticable on a very little reflection.
(pp. 90-1)
Three entries in ESTC (1734, 1762, 1763).

See Essays Moral and Philosophical, on Several Subjects: Viz. A View of the Human Faculties. (London: Printed for J. Osborn and T. Longman, 1734). <Link to ECCO-TCP>
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.