Simile: Figure of explication in which two things that share at least one attribute are explicitly associated with each other; an overt comparison between two unlike things as though they were similar -- usually with the words "like" or "as".


"Behold a republic gradually but surely becoming the supreme moral factor in the world's progress and the accepted arbiter of the world's disputes -- a republic whose history, like the path of the just, 'is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.'"

-- William Jennings Bryan, Imperialism

"I've had some long nights in the stir. Alone in the dark with nothing but your thoughts, time can draw out like a blade. That was the longest night of my life."

-- delivered by Morgan Freeman (from the movie The Shawshank Redemption)

"So now, I win the Heisman Trophy. Well what was so funny about it, I didn't think I deserved it. 'Cause we got [John] Elway, we got Eric Dickerson, we got Dan Marino, Anthony Carter....And I remember doing my acceptance speech and I said, 'Guys I feel like the Susan Lucci of the Heisman Trophy.' And they [didn't] like that. And I just read, just the other day, Eric Dickerson tweeted that he should've won the Heisman Trophy. And I told Eric we can fight about it -- and I haven't heard from him no more...."

-- Herschel Walker, Army Suicide Prevention Week Address, 2012


Seinfeld: "Take what?"

Kramer: "The board, Jerry. We've been playing at Newman's for six hours but he's gotta go."

Seinfeld: "So why don't you leave it at Newman's?"

Newman: "I wanted to. He won't let me."

Kramer: "We have to put the board in a neutral place where no one will tamper with it."

Seinfeld: "So that's here?"

Kramer: "Yes, yes, you're like Switzerland."

Seinfeld: "I don't wanna be Switzerland."

-- delivered by Michael Richards, Jerry Seinfeld, and Wayne Knight

Note: At a meta-level, Seinfeld mistakes Kramer's simile for a metaphor in this wacky Seinfeldian exchange.

"But His strong love stands like a granite rock unmoved by the hurricanes of our inequity."

-- The Immutability of God [originally delivered by Charles Haddon Spurgeon]

"People in the streets see it now. They're running towards the East River -- thousands of them dropping in like rats. Now the smoke's spreading faster. It's reached Times Square. People are trying to run away from it, but it's no use. They're falling like flies."

-- delivered by Orson Wells (from the original radio broadcast of War of the Worlds)

"Henry was 18 when we met and I was queen of France. He came down from the north to Paris with a mind like Aristotle's and a form like mortal sin. We shattered the commandments on the spot."

-- delivered by Katherine Hepburn (from the movie The Lion in Winter)

Note: Also an instance of hyperbole

"It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. It's like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark and thinking that there's one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down through the air and there's a sickly moment of dark surprise."

-- delivered by Jude Law (from the movie A Series of Unfortunate Events)

"Rain, somebody said, is like confetti from heaven. So even the heavens are celebrating this morning, joining the rest of us at this wonderful commencement ceremony."

-- USSC Justice John Roberts, Cardigan Commencement Address

"Charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500. I took the mission. What the hell else was I gonna do?"

-- delivered by Martin Sheen (from the movie Apocalypse Now)

"We're adding three computers per human being on earth per year to the existing corpus of computers, and this only covers ARM. So if we think about other CPU architectures, or something like RISC-V, we can probably assume that this trend will only continue to grow, meaning by now we're sprinkling CPUs into things like we put salt into food. I guess in a few years time, having an electronic device that does not contain a computer is going to be the exception -- it's going to be extremely rare to have a device that does not contain CPUs. Some examples for things you wouldn't expect to contain a CPU these days: any USB-C cable will have an ARM Cortex CPU inside; people wonder why are the Lightning adapters for like Lightning to DVI so expensive -- $40.00 -- well, they contain an ARM core with 256 megabytes of RAM that boots an XNU kernel. This is an adapter which now has a full computer in there that is, I don't know, on the order of a PlayStation? So, we're really adding chips

-- Thomas Dullien, CyCon 2018 Addrress

"For the Waterberg’s rhino, an inability to lift their heads above shoulder height, combined with poor eyesight, means they must rely mainly on their sense of smell and hearing to detect threats. Big ears move independently, focusing in on the direction of sounds like huge satellite dishes."

-- YouTube Nature 2018 Documentary

"People at least have to be in communion with the religion of their forebears; they have to contend with it. Again, not so in Europe where religion is one of the things, along with, I would suggest, philosophy, almost all culture, and much more -- all of these things are as if they are behind crime scene tape still. There is still police tape around all of these things. This is the idea that we basically don't dare to go back to any of the things that matter because we can't trust ourselves with them and we can't surpass them. And so we've ended up in this situation that the English philosopher Sir Roger Scruton describes as "the culture of self-abnegation" -- the culture of warring on everything you have, of wanting to deny everything you have. It was beautifully summed up to me the other night in Berlin by a young German female student who said to me, "Why is it that my generation travel halfway around the world to visit the temples of Asia but you never see them in the cathedrals of Europe?"

-- Douglas Kear Murray, Address to the Conference for Israeli Conservatism

Note: The simile here further summons the notion of an intellectual blockade around once-important ideas by a state sanctioned authority, thereby relegating those ideas to the realm of hearsay, of idle speculation by a group of uninformed -- ignorant -- bystanders.

"It's like a jungle sometimes
 It makes me wonder how I keep from going under.
 It's like a jungle sometimes
 It makes me wonder how I keep from going under."

-- Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, The Message

Note: "It's" may be taken as a reference to ghetto life in a particular urban area such as Elizabeth, New Jersey or New York's South Bronx, and more generally to a psychology of black experience amid a cauldron of urban sprawl and decay.

Rhetorical Figures in Sound

Online Speech Bank

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American Rhetoric.
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