An extended metaphor that creates its own context.
Created by Paul Avion and based on Alfred Jarry's science of 'pataphysics (the science of that which extends beyond metaphysics), a pataphor attempts to create a figure of speech that exists as far from metaphor as metaphor exists from non-figurative language.
Also, when an idea seems to take on a life of its own.
An assumption based on an assumption.
2 degrees of separation from reality.
"When the new teacher snubbed me, I thought it was because I failed the test.
When I learned the teacher hadn't seen me, I realized I had been thinking in pataphor, creating an assumption based on an assumption."
"That's all in your mind, fool; strictly pataphor."
"Because string theory is speculation based on ideas that are themselves speculative (i.e., theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics), quantum calculations are, increasingly, not describing an actual reality, but are mathematical pataphors." See also pataphysics.
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