Similie for the camera!
Similes have a tendency to become entrenched in the language. Though they may originally be an expression of originality, a creative link between two ideas never before formed, they soon are overused and undervalued figures of speech not given a second thought by users, addicted to similes in the way that other users are addicted to methamphetamine. Because a simile has a set meaning belied by its expression, it refers only to one meaning or sense of its base word, like any unambiguous phrase. Relying on and overfrequently drawing from a well of hackneyed similes may lead to such misuses as the following:
ON RELUCTANTLY BUT GRACIOUSLY ACCEPTING THE GIFT OF AN ALMOST CERTAINLY STOLEN GOLD WATCH FROM A DISHONEST PAWNBROKER AND OLD FRIEND ON THE OCCASION OF MY THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY
My first mistake was accepting the word of a wily member of the local fauna; though the watch he gave me as free as a bird, all his wares were as hot as a sauna.
The sheriff invited us later that night o'er for supper; I guessed he'd get violent; I knew that he knew, and he knew that I knew that he knew, but I sat there silent.
Every bite of the food, of the drink every sip, proved the chef was clever as a fox: the cheddar was as sharp as a whip, the liquor as strong as an ox.
There was something funny, though, about that whiskey, I thought as my lips I moistened; I woke up that night in a prison cell, and I knew then that I had been poisoned.
Trapped in this airless and windowless coop, my prospects were certainly frightening. The chains 'round my wrists were as thick as pea soup; I was stuck as fast as lightening.
My thoughts turned to flight: perhaps I could return to the embrace of my dear old Hillary; but how could I manage to evade the cruel grasp of the joggs, the stocks, and the pillory?
I wondered if I could escape this dark cell, if I could return home: whether I could get to where windows were clear as a bell, making rooms as light as a feather.
I worked my hands free, and I cut a long dash through dark: I ran for my life; "Smile! You're on Candid Camera!" shouted the sheriff, the pawn broker, and my wife.
My complete astonishment must have shone, for their smiles were honest and bright. Their humor was as dry as a bone, but my spirits as high as a kite.
DANIEL W. GALEF
Montclair, New Jersey
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|Author:||Galef, Daniel W.|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2013|
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