Commonalities are Threads

  • Description of motion:  Finger moves as if tracing a circle
  • Observed: Rad School Meeting. 1-14-2015.  13 people seated around a rectangular table.
  • Example:  "There is a common thread that you can trace though all of these concepts."
  • Link to use:  Authorities see drugs as common thread running through many recent thefts
  • Use:  Metaphor used to link events, objects, ideas together through a commonality.  
  • Metaphor:  Commonalities are Threads
  • Explanation:  Imagine three balls linked together by a piece of thread.  The thread runs through the center of each one and then completes itself to form a circle.  Each object has a core, an essence that is located in the middle.  The thread is the common feature that unites these objects by penetrating them through their core, thus creating a categorical quality that all of these objects possess.  Because this commonality between objects is thought of as a thread it can also have threadlike qualities, one being that thread is thin and hard to see.  The connections between these three objects might also be thin and hard to see.  It might also be described as tenuous, another term used often with thread.  This bonding through thread is also present in the phrase, "tying it all together".  The gesture itself is a circle because it is a uniting gesture, that of linking disparate objects into a group.

    There are of course other ways to bind things together.  Other "linkages" are found in such expressions as "we are linked together" or even the "hyper-links" in this webpage.  What this suggest is that there are differing ways to bind things together whether through thread or chain, each having their own set of physical characteristics.  For instance, thread has "loose ends" and so when an idea seems not bound together well, we tell people they need to "tie up their loose ends".  Chain has links and so when we talk about group dynamics, we can refer to someone as "the weakest link".
  • Origin:  We can look out at the animals around us and see that some animals have horns, and some animals don't have horns.  These animals are then united by this one categorical characteristic.  Uniting things in this way is much like tying things together.  If we were to take three sticks and wrap them together with string, we could also say that these three disparate sticks have been united into one object, thus our connection with uniting things and thread.