As a writer I am constantly in a state of choosing the right metaphor, something that will enhance my writing, make it go down smooth as silk. I love metaphors. For me, it is what makes for good, interesting prose. I realize everyone might not be of the same opinion but I’m not here to argue my case. –Thank goodness.
Granted, it’s not always easy to come up with a great metaphor. After all, a metaphor should make sense as it is an implied comparison between “two unlike things that actually have something in common.” Right? Okay so we’re comparing two unlike things but still… the “something in common” plays a key part. Agreed?
Sometimes in our zeal to find the perfect metaphor, we over do it a little. Well, that might not be you or I, but I found a list of metaphors from student essays showing us how NOT to write metaphorically.
You may or may not have seen this before. It’s on several sites if you do a Google search.
Maybe I’ve got a strange sense of humour but I found some of these, if not most of them, hilarious. Maybe it was just the mood I was in. Heck, am I kidding? I’d have to be in a pretty crummy mood not to giggle over these.
I can only guess that the authors were trying to be humourous, if not, perhaps they should be banned from writing. I’ll give a few examples ..you let me know.
How Not to write Metaphorically:
Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
It came down the stairs looking very much like something no one had ever seen before.
She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.
I’ve added the link here if you’re interested in seeing the complete list. There are some pretty funny ones.
If you can come up with any original examples of how NOT to write metaphorically I’d like to see them. I could use a good laugh right about now.