Monday, December 19, 2016

The Master of Metaphors, Similes, and All Things Descriptive, Oh my!

A quick refresher about descriptive use in writing...

Metaphors are a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action where it is not literally applicable. Examples: 'you are my sunshine' or 'all the world's a stage'. If you think about these phrases, they are only purely figurative in nature.

Similes are used to compare things. A phrase using a simile will use a connective word such as 'like, as, so, and than'.  Example: 'you're as tall as a giraffe'.  We know that's not really true, but it makes a great descriptive way to express that you are really tall.

Adjectives are simply descriptive words and choosing them wisely will elevate your writing to another level.

One of the greatest children's writers was the absolute master of using metaphors, similes, and adjectives to make things fun, interesting, and timeless! So, especially for the holiday season, I give you Theodore Geisel or better known as, Dr. Seuss and his holiday classic. From all the way back in 1966, it's as great today as the first time I heard the song and saw the cartoon on our old black and white television.

Can you pick out all the metaphors, similes, and adjectives?

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch
You're a a bad banana with a greasy, black peel

You're a monster, Mr. Grinch
Your heart's an empty hole
Your brain is full of spiders,
You have garlic in your soul, Mr. Grinch
I wouldn't touch you with a 39 1/2 foot pole!

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch
You have termites in your smile
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile, Mr. Grinch.
Given the choice between the two of you, I'd take the seasick crocodile!

You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch
You're the king of sinful sots
Your heart's a dead tomato
Splotched with moldy purple spots, Mr. Grinch.
You're a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich
With arsenic sauce!

You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch
With a nauseous super "naus"!
You're a crooked dirty jockey and you drive a crooked hoss, Mr. Grinch
Your soul is an appalling dump heap 
Overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable
Mangled up in tangled up knots!

You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch
You're a nasty, wasty skunk
Your heart is full of unwashed socks
Your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Grinch. 
The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote, 
Stink, Stank, STUNK!

As I was copying these lyrics, I ran across some interesting tidbits. If Wikipedia is correct, Dr. Seuss wrote the story and lyrics. Boris Karloff narrated the story, but did NOT sing the song. WHAT?? It seems Boris Karloff could not sing and so the song was performed by Thurl Ravenscroft who was not  credited at the end of the show. And all these years later, we all can say, "Who was Thurl Ravenscroft?"

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2017. Happy Writing!