I’m Inclined to Agree

I’m sure that’s something you often say while reading these posts. It’s also, if you think about it, more metaphorical than might be obvious. Think about it for a moment. How else do we use the word inclined?

It’s of course also used to refer to surfaces. An inclined surface is one that’s sloped. And because it’s sloped, anything that can roll, that you place on that surface, will roll in a certain direction (i.e. down).

And if you’re leaning more towards one opinion than other, then it’s like your thoughts are rolling in that particular direction, like on an inclined surface.

I’d been using inclined in both ways for many years, but only today did it occur to me to think about how the two might be linked, and once I did, it seemed pretty obvious.

And of course it’s another case of us thinking spatially to concretize abstract ideas. We might not have made up our minds, but we’re leaning in a certain direction. Someone might interrupt our train of thought. Our thoughts might run a certain way. You might hold or park a thought, as though to stop it moving. You might have a one-track mind.

As I always say, the human complex mind is a very deep and complex thing, which is why we’re so lucky to have language to give these handy metaphors to express ourselves!

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