Sunday 24 June 2012

Similes II

Avoid the forced simile: "The great wall of China is like an endless dragon snaking its way from Beijing to…" (Eden) Is it a dragon or a snake? And if it goes from A to B, it’s not endless. To be endless, it would have to form a circle. The Chandlerian unexpected simile is a dangerous tool in the wrong hands, but similes can be so much more powerful than metaphors. See Isaiah: "And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped."

Trying to use Google Translate on a Ukrainian document – the result reads like a Japanese VCR instruction manual from the 1980s. @ianvisits

Along the rainy boulevard the palm trees waved like dish mops (paraphrase). Jilly Cooper

At times it verges on the tacky, like a futuristic air-freshener advertisement with the colour contrast turned up to the max. Wendy Ide reviews Avatar Times December 09

Dinosaurs – they were as dumb as posts. (Wild TV)

French TV presenters look like aliens after too much plastic surgery. Daily Mail

Her locks had been so frequently and so drastically brightened and curled that to caress them, one felt, would be rather like running one's fingers through Julienne potatoes. Dorothy Parker

I collect "it's like a (banal object) on (drug of choice)" hilarity! @Boredstoopid

Impossible tasks are like: fighting with a wet sheet, or trying to eat candy floss in a wind tunnel.

It looks more like an endless phalanx of forbidding government ministries than a holiday resort. Spiegel online on Nazi-era resort Prora. July 2011

My only problem with the Shard as an object is that the top of it looks like an icing nozzle. @hughpearman

Regulations are like a Swiss cheese. Speaker on Five Live re scrap metal regulations Nov 2011

Strong, scalding coffee made in a machine resembling a carburettor from the Titanic’s engine room. @politicsworld

The tuba ensemble “sounded like a pas de deux for cement mixers”.

This book makes Ken Hanke's book on the Charlie Chan films seem like Seven Types of Ambiguity. (Web review of book on the Mr Moto movies)

Walking in this dry grass is like walking on cornflakes – no good if you want to keep quiet. Steve Backshall on CBBC

More similes here.

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