When I was in college and trying to learn French, I contended that I couldn't learn a foreign language because I didn't know English well enough.
This podcast is a help! You can listen to the podcast I am blogging about here. This particular one is on Similes and Metafors. Within the podcast the speaker (not Grammar Girl this week) states:
People use these figures of speech when speaking romantically. “Dearest, your eyes sparkle as starlight in the water of a deep, cool well.” The speaker is drawing a parallel between his beloved’s eyes and starlight in a well. She doesn’t actually have wells for eyes; if she did, she would slosh when she walked. But her eyes do sparkle, and that is the connection he’s drawing.I was amused to hear him say "She doesn't actually have wells for eyes; if she did, she would slosh when she walked."
Why are these important? We hear and use these language constructs all the time. Do we recognize them? Quite often not.