Metaphor are devices for understanding

Metaphors are basically devices for understanding and have little to do with objective reality, if there is such a thing. The fact that our conceptual system is inherently metaphorical, the fact that we understand the world, think, and function in metaphorical terms, and the fact that metaphors can not merely be understood but can be meaningful and true as well—these facts all suggest that an adequate account of meaning and truth can only be based on understanding.

–George Lakoff Metaphors We Live By

No such thing as inherent meaning in sentences

understanding. A sentence can’t mean anything to you unless you understand it. Moreover, meaning is always meaning to someone. There is no such thing as a meaning of a sentence in itself, independent of any people. When we speak of the meaning of a sentence, it is always the meaning of the sentence to someone, a real person or a hypothetical typical member of a speech community

–George Lakoff Metaphors We Live By

Purpose in metaphor

The most important thing to bear in mind throughout our discussion of coherence is the role of purpose. A metaphorical structuring of a concept, say the journey metaphor for arguments, allows us to get a handle on one aspect of the concept. Thus a metaphor works when it satisfies a purpose, namely, understanding an aspect of the concept.

–George Lakoff Metaphors We Live By