Quick metaphor question

Isn't the saying "thick as two short planks"?
You're right, HB. That's certainly what it used to be, although I've heard "as a plank" as well.

My point is that such similes are often a bit obscure to say the least, such as "Dead as a door nail" as Toby says.
And that he needn't worry too much about his own comparison in the OP.

Some have some sort of logic but usually a bit distorted, and I note also that such things are not only found in English.

"Daft as a brush", one suggested origin being the idea that when you're pushing a brush across the floor it will tend not to go in a straight line unless properly controlled, is mirrored by the French expression "con comme un balai" which translates to "stupid as a broom", or in fact, the same thing.
They insist however that it isn't a translation and believe our expression is gibberish.
The origin of their expression is far more anatomical.
 
Funny thing about Simile and Metaphor is that we as writers are encouraged to create our own; and often as not like those who try to be comedians things can easily fall flat.
But what do I mean by our being encouraged?
Most good simile and metaphor are in common use and flow off the tongue like saliva from a Saint Bernard.
We just can't help ourselves; and unfortunately most of these are considered dead these days and relegated to category of cliche and as such are what we are often advised to avoid.
Yet these are the very things that can put a whole lot of idea into the fewest words.
 
Funny thing about Simile and Metaphor is that we as writers are encouraged to create our own; and often as not like those who try to be comedians things can easily fall flat.

You're right, tinkerdan. Sometimes in trying too hard to be original we can produce a result that looks forced, and not always particularly apt. This is particularly true with similes, I've found. But if we use too many familiar figures of speech our writing can look clichéd. It can be a dilemma,and sometimes it's better to ditch the figurative language and just describe what we mean to describe without resorting to comparisons.

But I think, in this case, Toby's simile is a good one. Not just original, but evocative, and fitting to the setting of the particular book.
 

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