Showing posts from December 4, 2016

Comparisons That Should Work but Don't

We all know that comparisons spice up speech and writing. There are similes, which use "like" or "as." Tennessee Ernie Ford had a million of them. One of my favorites is "She's as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs." And there are metaphors, like "Love is a battlefield." Well done, comparisons imprint on the reader's mind. Really good ones make me pause to appreciate the creativity involved. But there are also badly-done comparisons. Some are just tired: He was as dead as a door nail. Others are new  but not necessarily effective: She looked like my cousin Maxine when she's hung over. I have a program that shows me where I've used trite sayings in a manuscript. Sometimes I keep them, like if a character is the type of person who talks that way. Other times I take them out, wondering how they slipped in in the first place. Here are some deliberately bad comparisons, just for giggles. The lit