Metaphors?

7 replies
My daughter has a homework assignment on metaphors. The excercise ask her to cirlce the two things being compared in the following metaphors. What two things would you circle?

1. His tail was wagging so fast it was just a yellow blur.

2. There was a little brush of yellow tail whiping back and forth.

3. Its tongue hung out underneath a little wet raisin of a nose.
New Member01
Lance76
My daughter has a homework assignment on metaphors. The excercise ask her to cirlce the two things being compared in the following metaphors. What two things would you circle?

1. His tail was wagging so fast it was just a yellow blur.

2. There was a little brush of yellow tail whipping back and forth.

3. Its tongue hung out underneath a little wet raisin of a nose.

Senior Member3,149
Hello Lance

A metaphor is an implicit statement of some point of resemblance between two things that differ in other respects. But a fast-wagging tail isn't like a blur: it is a blur. So I wouldn't call #1 an example of metaphor.

In #2, "brush" is another word for "a fox's tail", so that too is not particularly metaphorical. "Whipping" is a little more figurative; though a "brush of a tail" probably wouldn't "whip" very effectively. A long thin tail would do the job better.

#3 on the other hand does seem to have a genuine metaphor...

MrP
Veteran Member12,806
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
<A metaphor is an implicit statement of some point of resemblance between two things that differ in other respects. But a fast-wagging tail isn't like a blur: it is a blur. So I wouldn't call #1 an example of metaphor.>

A blur is a representation of something.

<In #2, "brush" is another word for "a fox's tail", so that too is not particularly metaphorical. "Whipping" is a little more figurative; though a "brush of a tail" probably wouldn't "whip" very effectively. A long thin tail would do the job better.>

"Brush", when used to represent "tail", means "resembling a brush".

<#3 on the other hand does seem to have a genuine metaphor..>.

"Seem to"? It does have genuine metaphor.
< A blur is a representation of something. >

A blur can be a representation of something – for instance, a blur of pink can be a representation of a distant face, in a painting.

And when we say: "Last week is a complete blur!", we're using the word metaphorically.

But when we say that the nebula M42 in Orion is a "blur", or that a speeding train is a "blur", the sense is neither representational nor figurative. The word denotes a real optical phenomenon: if the speeding train slows down, it is no longer a "blur".

The wagging tail falls into the latter category: the "blur" denotes a real optical effect.

As for "brush": it's the word for a fox's tail.

When a hunter cuts the brush off a dead fox, there's no hint of a metaphor.

MrP
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Anonymous:
1. His tail was wagging so fast it was just a yellow blur.

3. Its tongue hung out underneath a little wet raisin of a nose.
My take is, it shoud be "His tail was wagging so fast that it looked like a yellow blur.
Senior Member3,816
There is a slight tautology there, as "blur" already implies "what happens when something moves too fast for the eye/brain to follow". Thus if something "looks like" a blur, it is a blur.
MrP
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
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