Saturday, October 01, 2011

"Shots Rang Out, As Shots Are Wont To Do"

I can't resist posting this:
Analogies and Metaphors Found in High School Essays

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't. - Russell Beland, Springfield

Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master. - Sue Lin Chong, Washington

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center. - Russell Beland, Springfield

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever. - Unknown

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree. - Jack Bross, Chevy Chase

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can. - Wayne Goode, Madison,AL

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. - Russell Beland, Springfield

The thunder was ominous sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play. - Barbara Fetherolf, Alexandria

He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River. - Brian Broadus, Charlottesville

The door had been forced, as forced as the dialogue during the interview portion of "Jeopardy!" - Jean Sorensen, Herndon

Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do. - Jerry Pannullo, Kensington

It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before. - Marian Carlsson, Lexington


Dr. Mel said...

OMG, these kids are so much more articulate than the university kids I teach--seriously, dude!

Bix said...

Maybe some of them were done on purpose. But I still laughed!

Bix said...

In the book I'm reading, The Tell-Tale Brain, the ability to understand metaphor is uniquely human, or at least it's thought to be. When people experience a stroke in certain areas of the brain, they no longer get metaphors. If you recited Shakespeare's "It is the east, and Juliet is the sun" to them, they would think that Juliet was actually a sun, not that she was beautiful or radiant.

Dr. Mel said...

That's interesting about metaphor as possibly uniquely human (I've learned to doubt comments like that, given how much we've learned about animal intelligence in the last,say, 20-25 yrs. On the other hand, that's interesting and kind of strange about strokes & metaphor (or probably other linguistic non-literal constructions). I did just do a quick search on whether any animals could understand metaphor, but only came up with metaphors about animals.

Bix said...

It's all so interesting...
You might enjoy this then, Melinda. It's another excerpt from Ramachandran's book:

"Only humans, as far as we know, can use humor and analogy, although here we are in a gray area: the elusive boundary between thought and language.

When an alpha male ape makes a genital display to intimidate a rival into submission, is this analogous to the metaphor "F----k you" that humans use to insult one another? I wonder. But even so, this limited kind of metaphor falls far short of puns and poems, or of Tagore's description of the Taj Mahal as a "teardrop on the cheek of time." Here again is that mysterious boundary between language and thought."

Dr. Mel said...

That's only a limited metaphor from *our* point of view as humans--very anthropocentric. But thanks for the extra citations--appreciate it! Food for thought.

Bix said...

Must say, it was an eye-opening example. It came from out of the blue.