Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stuff that makes me feel stupid when I write

Similes and Metaphors 

I never remember the difference. I suppose this doesn't make me feel stupid when I'm writing, but it does when I'm talking about writing.  So, here is the difference between a simile and a metaphor:

Simile: a likening of one thing to another or a figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, the comparison being made explicit typically by the use of the introductory 'like' or 'as'.

Here are some well known similes:

My love is like a red, red rose ... Robert Burns

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Shakespeare

Metaphor: A figure of speech in which a term is transferred from the object it ordinarily designates to an object it may designate only by implicit comparison or analogy.

Here are examples of  metaphors:

I shall never get you put together entirely
Pieced, glued, and properly jointed.    Plath

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.  Shakespeare

Lay and Lie

I'm going to keep it simple...

To lay, to put or place something down. Present tense lay(s), past tense laid, past participle laid, present participle laying.

To lie, to rest or recline. Present tense lie(s), past tense lay, past participle lain, present participle lying.

Farther and Further

Use farther for measurable distances. Use further for abstract lengths you can't always measure.

Affect and Effect

Think of it this way, an affect is almost always a verb that means to produce a change in something, the effect is what is produced by that affect.

For instance, Video games affect kid's minds. The effect of video games on kid's mind is bad. (This is not something I necessarily believe just an example)

However, effect may sometimes be used as a transitive verb, which means to bring about or make happen, for example, I will effect the changes to my blog on Monday. 

And affect can sometimes be used as a noun, such as, The killer showed no affect when showed photos of his victim.

Of course those last two examples just totally confuses everything, so just say no and don't do it.

Then and Than
Use then when discussing time, use than in comparisons. (sometimes I still get confused with this because sometimes it's not always about time or comparisons, or at least doesn't seem to be)

I don't misuse these words, but you may want to look them up:


And watch your punctuation or you might turn into a zombie.

There are more of these errors I run into, and forget and use incorrectly, but this blog is long enough already (or is it all ready? ;). Maybe I'll write on the subject again next week.
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John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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