Daily Archives: February 19, 2023


Comparatio (com-pa-ra’-ti-o): A general term for a comparison, either as a figure of speech or as an argument. More specific terms are generally employed, such as metaphor, simile, allegory, etc.

He: I don’t want to be your patent leather dress shoe. Do you know what I mean? Ever since I’ve read Metaphors We Live By I’ve been spewing metaphors to live by. Think about it: “patent leather dress shoe.” It is too complex to consider now. Perhaps we can consider it the next time you’re treating my like a mouse with cognitive difficulties. Why do you call me your “scallion stallion?” I know I like onions on everything, but I don’t know where “stallion” comes from. It’s a male horse. In that vein, I’m more like Mr. Ed.—like a wise-cracking palomino with a really deep voice.

She: “Stallion.” My college English professor told me it is a metaphor for sexual prowess. Regarding you, it’s not true of you anyway—you’re more like a timid turtle. Many of the girls called my English professor “Popeye.” I don’t know why. Maybe he ate a lot of spinach.

I’ve never read Metaphors We Live By, so, generally speaking, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Would it be like “You’re as dull as a butter knife?” Or, “Hey melon head, why do I waste my time with you?” Oh! Wait! I think I’ve got one: “My boyfriend is a bird brain.”

He: That’s right! The explicit comparison of two unlike things. You compare a bird’s brain to me. You’re talking about a very smart bird—probably a parrot or a magpie.

She: No. You’ve got it backwards: I’m comparing your brain to a bird’s brain—even if it’s a parrot or magpie, you’re supposed to be smarter. Basically, I’ve insulted you, and you’re too stupid to get it; proving my point. is this “living by a metaphor?”

He: Oh. I guess so. What am I supposed to do now? Put on my ramblin’ shoes? Take a hike? Fly away? Pack it in? Get shit-faced and crash? Follow the yellow brick road?

She: Get out of my apartment. That’s not a metaphor. Come back when you’re not such a dripping stalactite. Maybe we can watch a movie.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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