General Question

xTheDreamer's avatar

Would you call this text a simile or metaphor?

Asked by xTheDreamer (881points) October 17th, 2009

I’m going back and forth if a text that I have is a simile or a metaphor, so I’m not sure that is why I’m asking.

Here’s the text:

Girls are like waves.
Plain and simple. Girls are like waves.

Guys are all surfers in the ocean of love. Guys go out, packin 6, 8, some even 10 or 12. Some guys go looking for big ones, the ones with the big pipes that they can get into. Other guys just like enjoying their company and cruise. Some guys go after every single wave they see. Others wait for the right ones. Sometimes they wait for the waves, sometimes they ride one, and catch the next one going by.

Girls? They’re the waves the guys go after. Waves, like girls, come in all different sizes. Some are big, some are small. Some are tall, some are short. Waves, again like girls, behave differently. Some like to swallow you up, and some spit you out.

Trying to surf the right wave is like trying to find the right girl. You see one from afar, and the closer and closer you get to it the more you start to notice if it’s the right one for you. Sometimes you take a chance and it’s not all you expected it to be. Other times they’ll look good, and when you go for em, you find out they’re not all that great. Sometimes more than one guy can go for a wave. Other times no one will.

There are the ones that get away. First you paddle and go hard for it, but you can never catch it. Someone else gets that wave, leaving you to only watch and wonder.

Then there are the perfect ones. The ones you stay with for a long time. Everything at that point is good. You’re cruising, just enjoying every part of it like nothing in the world matters but you and that wave.

And then you see it fall apart. It just stops. You don’t really know what happens. It just falls apart. Eventually we just abandon ship.

After that, some guys leave for a bit. Don’t want anything to do with waves, especially if they go down hard. Some just decide to brush it off and go back out looking.

Plain, simple. Girls are like waves.

… But one day or another, instead of finding perfect waves, you get that one single wave. The one that you remember & cherish forever because it’s the one that brings you to land with them.

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23 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

No they aren’t – so it is neither. (try metaphor.)

AstroChuck's avatar

Simile. If it was a metaphor it would refer to the girls as waves, not like a wave.
For example, suppose you want to describe a woman with fat legs. You could say…

Her legs were like plump sausages (simile)

or you could say…

She walked into the room on two plump sausages. (metaphor)

Jeruba's avatar

“Girls are like waves” is a simile. A simple comparison.

The rest of the text is an extended simile. The actual constructions use some metaphorical language.

I agree with @Darkscribe that they aren’t. But the figures of speech are both simile (in the title) and metaphor (in the body). It doesn’t have to be true in order to be a figure of speech.

XOIIO's avatar

Thats just god damn hilarious!

can you email it to me?

Jeruba's avatar

@AstroChuck, it’s not a metaphor if two plump sausages were lying on the doorsill.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Metaphor: “Girls are waves.”
Simile: “Girls are like/as waves.”

Jeruba's avatar

“Like” for nouns, “as” for verbs.

Girls are like waves.
Girls overwhelm you as waves surge over the shore.

Both are similes.

DarkScribe's avatar


He asked how to describe the “text” in whole (or holistically), not the heading. It is (among other things) metaphorical.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, @DarkScribe, and I distinguished between them in my first response above because one answer won’t do for both title and body and because the questioner asked if it’s [all] one or the other. It’s both. The title can’t be disregarded, and it is unequivocally a simile. The rest uses metaphorical language, but you can’t say it is a metaphor.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Jeruba but you can’t say it is a metaphor.__The title can’t be disregarded, and it is unequivocally a simile

I did disregard it as the question was specifically about the text, which was supplied in length. You are quite right though the question was ambiguous.

(My pedanticism is in full flight. ;) )

Jeruba's avatar

[Not giving up yet]

Here’s the text:

Girls are like waves.

Clearly “text” includes the title in this member’s question.


DarkScribe's avatar

@Jeruba Over.

You win – I think that I like you too much (based on my impression from your responses) to really argue. ;)

Jeruba's avatar

But that was fun, wasn’t it?

DarkScribe's avatar

@Jeruba Jeruba’s avatar _But that was fun, wasn’t it?

Debate is always fun. (We could pretend that it is real debate and swap sides.)

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, I like to do that. That’s what I do sometimes when someone agrees with me too easily. (I used to have a boyfriend who agreed with me all the time. Wore me out with reversing myself.) But it’s too late tonight. Some other time.

ShiningToast's avatar

The bold statement is a simile, but the other paragraphs are metaphors.

janbb's avatar

I think my minions have nailed it – no need for “the expert” to weigh in. :-)

NewZen's avatar

Girls are like wonderous caverns, their depths unfathomable; while their mountains unsurmountable. (simile = like)

She was a cavern; deep, dark and mysterious. (metaphor)

Zen out.

Jeruba's avatar

@NewZen, very nice. But <donning editorial hat>...

their depths unfathomable and ; while their mountains unsurmountable.
their depths unfathomable, ; while their mountains unsurmountable.
their depths unfathomable ; while their mountains are unsurmountable.

No semicolon here unless you have an independent clause.

<doffing hat>

NewZen's avatar

@Jeruba _Poetic License.__

Jeruba's avatar

…has its limits.

DarkScribe's avatar

@NewZen __Poetic License.___

Has expired…

I am old fashioned, I use the “Little Book” as my primary guide, but I work in a field where I have to grit my teeth and accept tortured language as a part of publishing life. They continually change style to relax standards and allow atrocious abuse of language into print. For instance, many people use the word “may” when they mean “might”. It has become so commonplace that I am now frowned upon if I correct it. May has to do with permission, might with possibility.

I use Nuance’s voice software, and if I allow it to punctuate, it inserts semi colons into sentences with no fathomable logic. I had to go back and “weed” some long documents that I allowed it to transcribe. I have now turned the option off and am waiting for a bug-fix release.

NewZen's avatar

@Jeruba Exanple: My love for you knows no boundaries, like the oceans and its waves. (simile)

But @Jeruba – you are a glistening moon, when your face brightens up the pixels of this precious pc – a shining beacon to sailors, nee castaways, in the seas of the mind.

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