Drowning in Possibility: Commonplace Metaphors and the Existing Pool of Knowledge Surrounding Aquatic Safety Education

  • Sierra C. Diemer Georgia Southern University - Armstrong Campus


Are we making the same argument? Rhetors claim that when arguments center on the same term, but use different underlying meanings, adequate solutions cannot be reached. In essence, we cannot reach adequate solutions because we are actually making different arguments without coming to that realization. This rhetorical concept can also be applied to health education and to examining our understanding of what it means to be “safe” in an aquatic environment. This essay describes research gathered on the general public’s conceptualizations of aquatic safety. By rhetorically destabilizing “aquatic safety” as a commonplace metaphor, the nuances of terms like “drowning,” “prevention,” and “safety” are acknowledged and presented to stabilize arguments surrounding the terms for the sake of creating new aquatic education policy.

Author Biography

Sierra C. Diemer, Georgia Southern University - Armstrong Campus

Sierra C. Diemer graduated from the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University in May 2018 with an Honors B.A. in English and minors in biology, psychology, and linguistics. She is currently attending the University of Georgia as a graduate TA and second-year master’s student focusing in Rhetoric and Composition.