« Previous | Main | Next »

February 26, 2006


Mr. Language Person,
When Ted Nugent sings, "My face is a Maserati, looking for a clean garage,"  is that a metaphor or a simile?
Randy Walker
Roanoke, VA

That would be a metaphor. A simile would be, "My face is a Maserati, and I need to change the oil."


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

A language lesson on a Sunday? And is it too early to *snork* at Insom?

And we all know what Uncle Ted says about metaphors:

"Whack 'em and stack 'em! Kill 'em and grill 'em!"

Actually, I think he says that about everything!

I would have answered neither. It's a cry for help.

Actually, a simile would be "My face, like a Maserati, is leaking oil."

I thought a metaphor was a spanish guy with tights that fought bulls......or is that a matador?

So what if life is like a Matador. Would the simile be "your the bull." Or "Get ready to be charged for animal cruelty."

I could never remember the difference between metaphors and similes.

Likewise I could never keep straight whether it was Ted Nugent who had a "Face like a Maserati" and Joe Walsh whose "Maserati went 185" or vice versa.

And, speaking of grammar, gerunds are the ones that eat their young, right?

I would say it's a lie. Ted Nugent's face is clearly a train wreck.

BTW, Alfred, I believe it's "YOU'RE the bull," and "get ready to be charged WITH animal cruelty," since we're correcting grammar here.


No, I think Nugent's face is a Maserati, albeit a Maserati with a deer strapped to the fender.

Professor K - "My face, as a Maserati, is leaking oil." Have you forgotten the old Winston commercials?


All the world's a stage, and we are but.....

But what?

No "buts" about it.

All the world's a stage (from As You Like It 2/7)

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...

Further, Your Honor, Pogo signifiith nothing.

Gerunds are self-consuming preteroid ativans. Whenever a gerund appears in a written sentence, a pungent smell pervades the nostrils and the gerund disappears, sometimes leaving a small hole in the paper. Saying a gerund aloud can be, quite naturally, somewhat painful. Avoid gerunds whenever possible. The use of too many gerunds in a single sentence has been known to create spontaneous combustion. The Great Fire of London is an example.

But when ya get right down to it, the real question is - What's a meta for?

... bloggers who are looking for anyone who can still diagram that sentence whether it be a metaphor or a simile

Meta is for describing the best conversations - also some of the best jokes. SeeAlso: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-joke

Actually, a significant amount of Barry's humor could be described thus - one reason I like him so much.


I meta gal once ... she had these ... um ... nevermind ...

Ted Nugent's face has a beak, like that of any other chickenhawk.

*groans loudly at CoastRaven*

bad, bad

I raise my silver goblet to pogo.

Ted Nugent's face is not a Maserati, 'cos if it was, he could turn on the headlights and whap some deer without shooting them.

At the risk of incurring the impatience of The Blog…

I understand how "need to change the oil" makes the metaphor more closely related to the oil on your face, but isn't "My face is a Maserati" always a metaphor, regardless of what follows it?

*raises goblet to Eleanor*

Thanks, Babe! Literary criticism ain't this redneck's stong suit, but I know good stuff when I see it.

Serious answer: A simile uses "like" or "as" when making a comparison. This is a metaphor.

My comment: I wonder if Ted Nugent's face can go 185.

Lisa~ Yes, it is. Similes use either "like" or "as" in making a comparison, whereas metaphors just say one thing is another. Dave knows this, of course. He just wanted to make a funny. You don't rely on Mr. Language Person if you're looking for actual grammar corrections. For that you go to your English teacher, who isn't nearly as funny. :-)

LBFF, you would be correct if there was a truthful commonality between Mr. Nugent's face and a Maserati. The metaphor: "My face is a 1958 Chevy Apache" might be more apropos, since both the pickup and Ted have big, ugly grills, tend to misfire, and went out of style a long time ago.

And, btw, if you want an excellent example of a metaphor, turn to page 88 of Guide to Guys. Or click here, hit Ctrl+F, type in "hamster" and read the paragraph it skips to. *snicker*

Alex, Bumble and bb-Thanks, I figured I was missing a bill-board sized comedic point, but my serious side still wanted to know.

Besides, I guess Dave wouldn't want to ruin his "reputation" by revealing that he knows very well the difference between the two.

*tucks tongue firmly in cheek*

As Madonna's "Like a Virgin"?

King Wingbipeekaboo Etc. strongly believes that Mr. Language Person should pop up at random on a more regular basis.

pogo, I think you are refrring to "Madonna is like a virging, in that she hasn't had any in the last five minutes either."

Make that "virgin." Or not.

Thank you s-girl - My day is complete! I can go to work with a smile, and torture drunk people. (While I try and catch up 2 them)

*zips in*
*raises hand*

I have one, I have one, call on me, call on me.

Blog: *sigh* Go ahead.

When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie...

*hangs out to wait for kudos*

Kudos to Eleanor! Just don't hit her in the eye with a pizza.

*takes a bow*

*wonders if that's a metaphor for something*

i think mr language person should write a book and then go on tour explaining why english is like it is. that would be a similie. my favorite term among all those that we learned in 7th grade was - onomotopea. i think its a rhyming thing. but i dont remember. and i dont remember what ted nugent's face looks like. probably some kinda chevy. and thank you bumble, for the great explanation. brought all of 7th grade back... except for onomotopea. or was that onamatapia? and i admire alliteration also.

I wonder if Ted "Double Live Gonzo" (My very first 8-track tape) Nugent drives a Maserati S type car?

This way, as he zips around town, everyone can say "Did you see that escargot"?

(Sorry, I thought I'd snail that joke in)

Onomatopoeia - when the word sounds like the thing it's describing. Fizzy. Bubble. Like that.

This is nice, it's kind of like a refresher!

Announcer: Random will execute a triple similie-metaphor-onomatopea back flip, degree of difficulty: eleventy three.

Ahem. Ted's face is a Maserati because it smashes into the gargage, due to it having brakes like a banana peel.

*waits for applause*

*slinks off in a chilly silence*

Also bam, boom, crash, zip, crinkle and, of course, *snork* ;)

Since I always thought a pronoun was a noun that had lost its amateur standing and this is a grammar thread, I will refrain from posting...except to say the "Maserati" and the "garage" are metaphors, 'cause each uses an inanimate object to describe what could only be consummated by a human being. It's a description of that age-old favorite that rhymes with "funny-thing-us," which is, of course, dark and lonely work, but somebody has to do it.

Thanks for the link, Bumble.

Now I'll be wondering what ever happened with Gary and Suzanne. Sigh.

"When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie..."

El: You SURE it's not 'like a big piece of pie?'

(This is deja vu all over again...somehow.)

70's music list:

Ted Nugent
White Snake
Motley Crue
Lynard Skinard (sp wrong, alas)

(help me out here, guys, I was never strong on heavy metal)

Ms. Nomer,

Thanks for the public service announcement about gerunds. I'd honestly forgotten what dangerous little critters they were.

Yours in Vigilance, Lairbo

daisy, I am a "whippersnapper", but weren't all of those bands (except Lynard Skynard) popular in the 80's?

Iron Maiden
Spinal Tap
Guns 'n' Roses
And didn't Pat Boone record a heavy metal album? Oh, that's right. He did but not in the 80s.

Speaking as a person who attempts to teach English (which I formerly once was) ... I just gotta say that I can only marvel at the eruditeness of this group ...

... unless, of course, it's doofusheaditis ...

I dismember which ...

(WTG, Gang!)

Since this is the grammar thread, with Mr. Language Person in charge, I have a question. I saw the following printed sign in a grocery store:

Wavy Lays Potatoe Chips $2.99

Publix - Where shopping is a pleasure

Wouldn't the Rule of Consistency require that the sign read:
Wavy Lays Potatoe Chip's $2.99

Publix - Where shopping i's a pleasure

Of course Ernie.
Now go to your room.

daisymae - since the next words after "When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie..." are That's amore, which as we all know is a metaphor for love *snork* and since Dean Martin sings it and he's Italiano (RIP), I'm going to stick with pizza - what say you? :-)

*zips out to google lyrics*

For Eleanor:

If you see a big eel,
and his teeth are like steel,
That's a Moray. (A Moray!)

If he's big and he's mean
and he's slimy and green,
That's a Moray. (A Moray)

(Chorus) If he slices the hose,
and then leaves you to doze,
That's a Moray!
A Moraaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!
A Moray.

When he's fanning his gills,
Better head for the hills,
That's a Moray. (A Moray!)

From a hole in the reef,
He will bring you much grief,
That's a Moray. (A Moray!)

(Chorus) If he slices the hose,
and then leaves you to doze,
That's a Moray!
A Moraaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!
A Moray.

This is how I sing it:
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore
Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing, "Vita bella."
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella
When the stars make you drool just like pasta e fagioli
That's amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming Signore
Scusami, but you see, back in old Napoli
That's amore
That's amore....That's amore...
Lucky fella...
When the stars make you drool just like pasta e fagioli
That's amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk in a dream...but you know you're not
Scusami, but you see, back in old Napoli
That's amore...(That's amore)
That's amore!!!...

*applauds wildly*

Thank you, Mr. C.

I feel loved.

*gets shy and zips out*

Dino, seeing as how you're dead, I'm guessing that was actually the lovely Eleanor after zipping back from Google lyrics. Corretto?


All the world’s indeed a stage
And we are merely players
Performers and portrayers
Each another’s audience
Outside the gilded cage

-Neal Peart (Rush)

El, I'm sure you're (not your) right. (sure could use a big piece of pie...or pizza pie...right now)

Kuddos to Mr. C for his lyrics.

adonis...I get the 70's and 80's mixed up, cause it's been awhile.

Off thread alert -- One of the guys who is a slimy, weasel traitor on 24, was a slimey, weasel traitor in Tom CLancy's "Clear and Present Danger."

Sweet! Cultural awareness pays off again! daisy, I guess you could always say that, since you don't remember either the 70's or the 80's, you truly experienced them.

OTA, also ... Vince Edwards was in a movie just on TV a bit ago ... from the early 70s? ... he wasn't wearin' a doctor shirt, but he still seemed to have that "attitude" he used as "acting" ...

Not to pick nits, adonis, I didn't say I don't remember the 70's and 80's, I said I get them mixed up, specifically which bands happened in which decade. And, of course some played in more than one decade...which makes it harder.

(You should have let it go daisy, you seemed cooler when you couldn't remember. Don't worry, I'll cover, I have specifically designed software for exactly this circumstance)

Wow [DAISYMAE], you sure are smart/well-informed!
*this comment was auto-generated by /COMP/lement.com's "Cover Your Friends Faux-Pas" Suite*

pssst, posse meet, usual place, in one hour
1. adonis
2. there is no 2.

psst...Eleanor...msg. received


Uh oh! Someone named adonis is in trouble! Wait...

adonis - when the moon hits your eye like a big squamous sty,
That's an owie.

*zippin' out before I get hurt*

pssst.. got it... I'll bring the wine (please pretend this post was italicized. Switched to a Mac and don't know how. Thank you.)

Adonis - Don't mess with the Posse.....

*Prematurely scratches Blue behind the ears, then listens to link*

Eleanor, I think we have a number 2.

Nothing good here, except the number of comments before me read "69" and I had to make it go away.

That is all.

Dang, Simulpost with KDFgirl puts me at 71. Damn OCD.

*goes back to checking if the doors are locked*

Before anything happens to me, I'd like to get my blog Will in order.

To stupe, I leave my engraved Doghouse Membership, as you don't have one

To John H., I leave my high scores on Escapa, as you most appreciated them. (30.89 on a laptop touchpad!)

To TCK, I leave this painting of Elvis, but I can't remember why

To Blue, I leave this copy of Window Media Player 9, as my computer obviously doesn't have one. (sorry, couldn't hear it. I did imagine a terrifying sound though)

And to Alfred, I leave my leather-bound gilt-edged copy of The Book of Scatology. It has been close to me

Goodbye all.

*rounds up taser, leash, shock collar and neutering devices and moseys to the posse meeting place*

It's not my ear that itches, but thanks KD. *Grabs bottle opener for doghouse trip.*

I'm sorry to point this out, but that's neither a simile or a metephor. It's a lie.

This is gonna suck

Adonis - think along these lines.

Adonis, anticipating the punishment is like digging your own grave.

THAT is a simile.

Man, it's the waiting that makes it worse. I'd like the posse to remember that I called her my "friend" in the 8:03 post. I will admit that:

What I did was stupid/inconsiderate/awful of me.
*this comment was auto-generated by /COMP/lement.com's "Cover Your Screw-Ups" Suite*

So, like, when I'm saying, like, the word "like" like a hundred times in, like, two minutes, then I'm, like, using, like, a simile? Is that, like, right?

For anyone who is quaking in their boots (a metaphor, perhaps?), Blue's link was the theme music from Jaws.
Excellent choice, Blue.

Addendum to Agenda:
2. One day exemption for Blue???

Off topic gender neutral question

Do you think that Dave is proud of his blogits that he can post a (very) short letter and 7+ hours later we're still able to entertain ourselves?

Clearly we are NOT high maintenance (for Dave anyway IYKWIM)!

*snork* @ Blue (LOL)

Hm, Eleanor... we may need to discuss this. I didn't like the human-eating, gill-breathing, brown-toothed bully reference. There must be a more fitting animal metaphor. Something less... smelly.

Excellent Grammar El (feeble attempt to keep us on topic)!

I think Dave IS proud of his blogits. I know that I am proud of his blogits...oh, that's right, I AM one of his blogits (are women blogettes or blogits???...why not bloglits? just wondering?).

We remind me of babies who are as happy to play with the box, paper or wrapping as whatever is inside.

Exactly daisymae, and aren't those babies happier than the ones who have the expensive toys that break in 15 minutes - YES!

KDFgirl - I hadn't thought of it from the "bullying" point of view. You''re right, because we are NOT bullies.

Corrected Addendum to Agenda
2. There is no 2.

Copy that.

Wait! El!

BLUE is no. 2!

(refer to Blue's snarky, sharky 8:46PM post)

....but I try harder.

secret whispering conversation

KDF, I thought you didn't like the Jaws reference and didn't think we should reward him, so I eliminated him, so to speak, like you would eliminate the Red Sox from the Playoffs (a simile, perhaps?)

Off-topic alert...

Anyone watching the closing ceremonies?

Fiat, outfitted with ladder strapped to the luggage rack, driving around the stadium randomly spewing sparks from the tailpipe?


It's OK, they're social morays.

Maybe the posse's metafor should be an alpha wolf. Think about it: strong, fast, dominant, and looks great in a pair of jeans! (attempt to suck-up and lessen punishment)

continuing secret whispering conversation and continuing to pretend to use italics...

I agree that we shouldn't reward him, but I'm thinkin' we should add his PUNISHMENT to our secret meeting agenda, as item number 2.

Excellent simile, but please substitute Yankees for Red Sox

Nope, KDFgirl, I'm watching season 2 (or 3) reruns of 24. Sorry.

Oooooooo! Adonis, I love it! (as long is it wasn't auto-generated from your special software package)

pssst, Eleanor, maybe we just meet on number 2.

(pretend italics - I like it)
KDFgirl, we must not let a baseball rivalry come between us when we have a greater mission, OK??? :)

HAHA - We have Damon, you don't!!
oops, did I just say that outloud- eekkk.

Quickly adds to Agenda:
2. Punishment for Blue (but nothing he would enjoy)

1 2 »

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About The Miami Herald | Advertise