Lost jobs, wayward lovers, wars and famine — come to think of it, just about any of life's curveballs — there's an aphorism for it, and James Geary's got it.

Why you should listen

One of a handful of the world's professional aphorists, James Geary has successfully fused early creative endeavors in performance art, poetry and juggling with his childhood fascination with the "Quotable Quotes" column in Reader's Digest. His books Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists and the bestselling The World in a Phrase are invaluable journeys through the often-ignored art of the witty (and memorably brief) summation.

His next book is about the secret life of metaphors, and how metaphorical thinking drives invention and creativity. Geary is a former writer for Time Europe and is now an editor for Ode magazine, a print and online publication devoted to optimism and positive news.

What others say

“It is impossible not to be swept along with his enthusiasm.” — Times Online

James Geary’s TED talk

More news and ideas from James Geary


Metaphorically speaking: James Geary on TED.com

December 18, 2009

Aphorism enthusiast and author James Geary waxes on a fascinating fixture of human language: the metaphor. Friend of scribes from Aristotle to Elvis, Geary says metaphor can subtly influence the decisions we make. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2009, July 2009, Oxford, UK. Duration: 9:30) Twitter URL: http://on.ted.com/364Z Watch James Geary’s talk on TED.com, where you can […]

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Twitter Snapshot: James Geary and the patterns of metaphor

July 22, 2009

Aphorist James Geary took the stage at TEDGlobal 2009 this morning. Recognize a pattern? It was his second appearance on the TED stage for the conference and he took the opportunity to discuss metaphors and pattern. Twitter lit up, creating yet another pattern. Watching James Geary talking about metaphors. My favorite way of explaining things. […]

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