February 24, 2011

Metaphor Mishaps




Every year, English teachers from across the USA submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers (and many others) across the country. Here are the winners of a few years ago:

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

3. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli, and he was room temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of
his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:3o.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

"maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding..."

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina
rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24
. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

25
. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

- - - - -

I love these. XD If you're ever feeling discouraged about your writing skills, look back at this list and be encouraged. :)

Always Hope,
-whisper

10 comments:

Eldra said...

Some days you just have to wonder about people.

"He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up."

"She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up."


Wow. Way to ruin the moods going on there.

Hey, I am feeling encouraged about my own writing. Thanks!

The Director said...

This made my day. XD XD XD XD

I died when I read the one about the ballerina. I am one, and I do pointe work as well. So reading that..... oh, gosh...... XD

Thanks for making my day.


*staggers away, giggling uncontrollably*

PS I DO feel better now..... *strikes confident writer pose*

Jake said...

Epic. XD In a sad kind of way. Poor writers.

Ian said...

"The little boat drifted across the river exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't."

The scary thing is, however hilarious this was to read, it actually paints a good picture in my mind...


"Her vocabulary was as bad as...well..whatever."

I probably laughed hardest at that one. :P

:)Ian(:

Anonymous said...

I almost died laughing when I read those.

Whisper: Thank's for posting these; they definitely improved my day.

whisper said...

Eldra and Director: I'm so very glad you liked them! :) They keep making my day over and over each time I read them...

Aye, Jake, it is a bit sad. >_> We can only hope that, at least in several cases, the writers actually meant to be humorous.

Heh, you're right, Ian; the bowling ball analogy does certainly create a striking mental picture. :D

Very glad you enjoyed them, Anonymous! :)

Brianna said...

*Laughs!* It was fun to read these again! I want to say which are my favorites... but I simply can't choose. I think I'll put a link to this on my blog, if you don't mind. (I believe I've lost the original email that this came from.)

Funny, I didn't get a mental image at all when I read the bowling ball one. It didn't make any sense to me until I read all of your comments and starting thinking about it... hard... then it kind of clicked... kind of...>_>

On second thought, actually, (in regards to which were my favorites), I think numbers 19 and 20 are among my favorites:

"Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do."

"The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work."

whisper said...

Oh, certainly; you have every right to post these! After all, you were the one who sent them to me in the first place! (OO) I ought to have attributed them to you, but I didn't think to! Quite sorry. >_> Post away!

And the Phil one is all the better because it includes a reference to the ever-mysterious 'Phil'. >_>

-whisper

Pathfinder said...

These never get old.

whisper said...

I know. XD

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