What Is A Simile: The Literal And Poetic Usage Of Language?


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What Is A Simile: The Literal And Poetic Usage Of Language?

Any language of the world is always strewn and decked with many grammatical Sabbaths. There are generally two parts of the language that is used in daily lives. The first part is the literal usage and the literal meaning. The second part is the poetic usage and the poetic meaning. In the first part, we take the regularities of the language into consideration. That means the usage of grammatically correct words and the practice of proper construction of sentences as per the written grammar rules is called the literal usage of the language. On the other hand, when a person expresses something in the poetic manner that is if he or she decorates the words with comparisons, exaggerations, descriptions and so on, then he or she is bound to use certain rhetorical devices which are called figures of speech. These usages are sometimes nongrammatical in the outer sense but the real meaning lies deep inside. These two types of language use: the literal and the poetic, constitute the vast world of expressions.

Its Proper Classification

This division of the piece of writing shall enumerate what is a simile

Simile is one of the primordial conventions for practices of figures of speech. When the graphic representation for the figures of speech is made, then it is the foremost individual in the equivalent. It can be rightfully called to be a comparison. Yet the assessment is not just between anything. There is an analogous system to it. Generally, the judgment for the linking dimension is made between two contrasting substances. The two phrases are joined with an “as” or “like”. Yet this must be kept in mind that any relationship which has “as” or “like” shall not comply with the terms of simile definitions. There has to be some part of dissimilarity between the two. Let us cite a number of examples:

  • Simile: as cool as a cucumber. As bright as the moon, as bold as brass.
  • Not a simile: cricket is like baseball, rugby is like football, rice is like wheat.

The first comparisons are similes because there is obviously the “as” or the “like”. Then the words between which the comparison is made are outrightly different. Coolness and cucumber have no link when seen in seclusion. The real link is established through the simile and then both the words get an asserted importance. This is an important part of the use of it. It is called “heightening the consequence of the vocabulary”. Thus, the moment something is called a simile it must be kept in mind that the comparison must give an escalating importance to both the words through the comparison and then the comparison must give rise to something heightened through it. Like: cool as a cucumber is generally used to describe a person.

Thus, it is clear that anything which contains a “like” or “as” is not a simile. There is another mode of comparison in the genre of language though that is not our region of research at the moment. Yet the mere mention of it must give some space to the use of metaphor. The metaphor is the twin brother of it. This is the indirect comparison made between two dissimilar objects. Some examples are:

Lion-brave, sand-blind, iron-man, polestar-constant, etc…

What Is The Importance Of Simile Today?

Simile is requisite in all stands of the English language. For the matter of discussion, this must also be enumerated that the use of it is predominant in all the languages of the world. It is very important while formatting an essay. Understanding what is it means you have realized simile as an apparatus to elevate the exquisiteness of the statement construction. Which means the moment the simile is used, the statement and the sentence get a greater importance and maybe there is a third dimension that indicates something more than what is merely written.

We consider the following case in point for the healthier verdict of what is a simile:

John, who was as brave as a lion, went forward undaunted in the ranks of war as cool as a cucumber and slaughtered the enemies as smooth as glass. He was then as rough as sandpaper.

The above-mentioned phrases which are underlined are all similes. A clear consideration of the words shall show that the connotation of the sentence is elevated to a great extent through the usage of the figure of speech. Thus, if the simile is used to format an essay then the structure and significance of the dissertation shall be catapulted and the thesis shall gain better accreditations than the others comparable.

There is many more usage of the simile in the lives of men. It is a very important part of the grant proposal. The grant proposal must have the characteristic of being epigrammatic yet well laid off. Thus, the use it can be helpful there. In the grant proposal, the simile can be used to decorate and embellish the paper as well as speak much in a restrictive space. It is an instrument to say much more with a lesser usage of words.

Simile is very helpful in the poetic use of language. The regularities of the same words and the repetition of the same appearance often make the reader bored. Thus, the utilization of similes is like an ornamentation to the sentences. It makes a sentence materialize differently and the whole document is then good to interpret or allocate among others. This is the reason why it is good in dissertation introduction.

The introduction to a dissertation is the basic step to the entry to a great Diaspora of thesis writing. Thus, if the introduction is not attractive then the professor shall not scrutinize the same. However, the employment of simile is necessarily important here. It shall make the reader gain interest in reading and the procedure of comprehension shall be hilarious and attention-grabbing.

Here is an example:

Mathematics is like a sea. The subject, who is as fresh as the spring air, injects billions of innovative neurons in the brain cells. Arithmetic is as blue as the deepest ocean. Yet to some students it might appear as crooked as a witch’s hat. Thus, in this dissertation, I shall try to prove why people disdain mathematics and what is the way to assume the subject is as soft as a daffodil’s petals.

This is an imaginative short intro to an article which might overwhelm the teacher. The use of similes makes the sentences better to read and enhanced to understand as well. The same can be said for the use it in the dissertation conclusion. The conclusion is the summation of the ideas and the discussions made in the treatise. Thus, it must also be succinct but well elucidated. The conclusion shows how clear the writer had apprehended the substance in the subject. A simile is a good tool to expression here.

Last but not the least comes the use of simile in the case study definition. The case study must be made interesting. There are maximum chances under which the case study is made lackluster. The luster of the same is reflected when the use it garnishes the language with comparisons and interesting wittiness. Thus, it is clear that the present day is almost going obscure underneath the ocean and as stubborn as a mule if simile is not used. Simile renders the language greatness and it is as easy as taking candy from a baby.

Inventor and First Use?

The trials to trace the history of simile is often bound to turn up nothing. None can decipher the first person who used a simile. Today, after so many millions of years since the first use of dialect, it is as black as pitch and there are bleak chances one could find the first user of the simile. This can be said that simile was predominant since time unidentified and cannot be deciphered. The day when man first started to use vernacular, he has been using the comparison. The epoch shall be stigmatized and language shall be stern and insensible if simile is severed from the same.

The Historical Dialectic And The Contemporary Advancement

Simile can be said to be the primeval poetic device. Poetry was the first turn of phrase of man. The moment civilization learnt to express poetry was the first tool of verbal communication, then the written communication procedures took up the simile.

Simile is found in one of the earliest writings of man. Plato in his book, “Proletarian” had termed simile in the name of Imago. Imago is a subtle comparison. Aristotle in his book, “poetics” termed the Imago as “rhetoric”. The Imago and the rhetoric were used to express something which, as per Plato can be unspoken of if said in plain language. Thus, the simile is a cover as well as an elevator to the main course of language.

The use it got height in the classical era of the Greek and German literature. It was implemented in English through the Norman conquests and the era of Italian renaissance influence. William Shakespeare is termed as the king of simile. Christopher Marlowe and John Milton are two of the other names who were apt in the use of the same.

In the modern times, the mode of expression has changed but simile is still the first entity in the figures of speech list. The use of simile is not widespread today as the modern language needs to be much straightforward and unswervingly verbal. Yet the subtle and sublime use of the simile makes the language blissful and better to read. It is that component of the verbal communication that can never be disengaged from the main body.

explanations regarding what is a simile:

  • which is the rightful space of practicing it?
  • ancient and modern historical hierarchy of it.
  • why it is an important attribute of language today?
Originally published Jun 22, 2017, updated Feb 19, 2021

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