© 2008 -- 2011 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

45 and Aspiring forwarded me a list of metaphors found in high school essays, some of which she has posted on her own site. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. But first a DISCLAIMER:

When I taught writing in college, faculty and grad assistants would sometimes share blunders that came from student papers and laugh about them. I found that offensive and counter to good teaching. It would be okay to laugh with a student, but never behind a students' back. Because to teach a student to write you need to try to understand what the student is trying to say. You can't do that if you're going to disrespect the student's effort to say it.

But these metaphors are different. They are funny, but they're not really blunders. In fact, they demonstrate the student made a real effort, not only to understand and use metaphor, but to say something original. So while these aren't metaphors I'd probably use, they're really interesting signs of progress toward writing well. Here's my list.
  • 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.
  • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  • 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.
  • The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
  • The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
  • The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

No comments:

Post a Comment