Have you heard the phrase "dead metaphor"?
I came across it while reading Jens Brockmeier's Beyond the Archive: Memory, Narrative, and the Autobiographical Process (ENP; Oxford: OUP, 2015). I don't know if it is the first time I've heard of such a thing, but it was the most relevant time. I had been thinking a bit about hermeneutics and literalistic readings of the Bible. It explains quite well the phenomenon of fundamentalist hermeneutics (whether that be from Christians or their antagonists). Here is the Webster's definition:
: a word or phrase (as time is running out) that has lost its metaphoric force through common usag
It's a simple, yet elegant description of something I see all the time. There are many poetic, metaphorical aspects of the Bible that are flattened because of dead metaphors. This ruins the text in my opinion. It turns poetry into prose and proverbs into promises or predictions. Symbols are destroyed in the process. People lose the joy of reading scripture in the process, finding meaning in the text that isn't nearly as enjoyable as it ought to be. Genesis 1-3 (1-11?) may be the most prominent example, but I know there are hundreds of others.