simile and its usage
A simile compares two things - A and B - by asserting that one is like the other. A simile usually contains the word "like," "as," or "so," and is used to transfer the qualities or feelings we associate with one to the other. You can see it in the following:
There was a secret meanness that clung to him almost like a smell.
the abstract word "meanness" (A) is made concrete by likening it to a smell (B) that "clings" to the man the way tobacco smode might permeate his clothing.
Now let's have a look at other similes as follows:
1. She crouched like a fawning dog.
2. Records fell like ripe apples on a windy day.
Explicit and implicit similes
A simile can explicitly provide the basis of a comparison or leave this basis implicit. For example, the following similes are implicit, leaving an audience to determine for themselves which features are being predicated of a target:
"His brother was a mechanic by trade when he was in the Army," Mary said. "When he got the tools out, he was like a surgeon."
More detail is present in the following similes, but it is still a matter of inference as to what features are actually predicated of the target:
1. Tom fights like a lion.
2. Mary swims like a dolphin.
3. He flopped like a fish out of water.
In contrast, the following similes explicitly state the features that are predicated of each target:
1. When Tom got the tools out, he was as precise and thorough as a surgeon.
2. Mary walks as gracefully and elegantly as a cat.
3. Tom was as a lion in the fight.
Unlike a metaphor, a simile can be as precise as the user needs it to be, to explicitly predicate a single feature of a target or to vaguely predicate an under-determined and open-ended body of features. Empirical research supports the observation that similes are more likely to be used with explicit explanations of their intended meaning; this offers some support to the claim that similes are preferred if a user wants to associate an unusual or out-of-the-ordinary property with a target.
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