by Doug Hawley
I wonder about
figures of speech. Lets dissect similes (unless
they are metaphors Im a
mathematician, not an English major, and Im
not even a good mathematician). Ok, to be
honest, some of these are just phrases. We could
choose high, aerodynamic or sexy, but lets
do easy now. I may analyze others
Easy as Pie or
Piece of Cake. First, why couldnt it be
easy as cake or a piece of pie? Both
are largely interchangeable desserts. Not
only that, but what is particularly easy about
pie or cake? They can be messy to eat and
difficult to make. I dont get it. Toast is
an indisputably easy food, but instead of saying
easy as toast or slice of toast,
we say he/she/it' is toast
meaning he/she/it is in a bad way.
is particularly easy about peasy, and more to the
point, what the hell is a peasy? Is it a
small pea? It is something that is pea-like? I
As easy as
falling off a log. Well it certainly is easy,
but its salient feature is pain. As a clumsy
person, Ive fallen off many logs. You can
hurt yourself badly. I might have killed myself
one time except for wearing a hard hat. You
want pain; straddle a log that you fall on.
As easy as
shooting fish in a barrel. What about ricochets?
Not only is this activity dangerous, it is most
certainly unethical and possible illegal in some
jurisdictions. The fish dont see it as easy;
they see it as pain or death.
You may ask,
what would be a good metaphor for easy. Toast
has already been mentioned. Another candidate
could be writing a Short Humour piece.
I think that the preceding has proved my point.
is an irritable little old man who is deeply
disturbed by people who say He was tasked
with ..., It is not on my radar
screen (unless he has a radar screen), or
At the end of the day when the
speaker is not referencing a time.