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The use of metaphors ascribing human characteristics to non-human forms- The most blatant anthropomorphism concerns the belief in supernatural beings, e.g., spirits, gnomes, all of which tend to assume human or super-human powers. Anthropomorphisms are most frequent in the ascription of intentions or purposes to causal phenomena, e.g., "the stone hit me", "this accident was meant as a warning", "this car doesn't like me". In scientific pursuits anthropomorphisms are frequent in studies of animal communication, e.g., teaching a dolphin to say "good morning", and in the use of computers, e.g., when programmed "to understand" an English sentence, "to think" through a problem, "to evaluate and decide" a suitable cause of action (see robot). (krippendorff)
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