Definition of Simile

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A simile is a figure of speech in which the subject is compared to another subject. Frequently they are marked by use of the words like or as. An example is "The snow was like a blanket". However, "The snow blanketed the earth" is also a simile and not a metaphor because the verb blanketed is a shortened form of the phrase covered like a blanket.

A few other examples are "The deer ran like the wind", "The raindrops sounded as popcorn kernels popping", and "the lullaby was like the hush of the winter."

The phrase, "The snow was a blanket over the earth" is the metaphor in this case. Metaphors differ from similes in that the two objects are not compared, but treated as identical, "We are but a moment's sunlight, fading in the grass." Note: Some would argue that a simile is actually a specific type of metaphor. See Joseph Kelly's The Seagull.

Note...This is where the learning of how to create analogies and illustrations starts. Comparing two different things by highlighting something they have in common will start the creative process in the mind. This is the start of an important creative mental process in learning Speechmastery.

As an exercise, start looking at different things and identify commonalities. Look at the plant kingdom, animal kingdom, the stars, the earth, even human experience.

Upon seeing the commonality in the different things, frame it into a beneficial or motivational thought. How would noticing this relationship be of benefit to know. How does it help illustrate a point or thought.

It may take hours or even days to work out a great illustration. Don't rush the process.

The more you do this exercise, the easier it will become create even larger illustrations.

Then keep practicing, practicing, practicing and it will become second nature.

A Word of Caution

In exercising this new aspect of speechmastery, you will need to use some discernment. Although some comparisons may seem logical, they may not be appropriate.

Saying that your CEO is faithful to the employees like the dog your family may have had as a child although true may not be the best way of describing the person.

Likewise to compare someone as having a great memory like an elephant if they are facing weight challenges may not be the best comparison.

When using this on people, use caution that it does not demean or detract from the dignity of them as a person or the office they hold.

Speech Writing Home Page More on speech writing. The Public Speaking Smile Website

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