Monday, August 17, 2015

The Onion: A Problematic Metaphor



So the first thing that is problematic here, is an onion is usually used as a simile. A person claims he is LIKE an onion. Not that he IS an onion. But semantics aside, let's look at what this poor loon is trying to say.

I'm complicated. Layered. Like an onion. You keep having to peel back layers to understand me. I'm really very deep.


Well okay, my mistaken friend. Here is the deal. While the onion SKIN is different (because it is exposed to the dirt it grows in and then the air and elements, the other LAYERS of the darned onion are just like the layer before but a wee bit smaller. Unless of course you hit rot... that is a possible surprise. Not a good surprise, but at least unexpected... Otherwise when you peel back, you are just getting more of the same. Not that it's bad. I like onions. But they just are NOT that complicated.

So if you are NOT trying to claim that you might be secretly rotten deep down, probably avoid the onion metaphor.


In Other News

No, never mind. I don't have any other news. I DO have a reminder though... if you are in or near Ann Arbor and are interested in professional feedback on your first twenty pages during the Kerrytown Bookfest, check THIS out.

11 comments:

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

LOL. Now you're ruined that saying forever with your factual proof of all silly it is.

Susan Says

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So, Shrek had it all wrong?

Chrys Fey said...

Haha! Good thing I've never said that I'm like an onion. Or had my characters say that. :P

Yolanda Renee said...

Never liked that analogy anyway, now I know why. Wish I were going to be in Ann Arbor, sounds like a blast!

Andrew Leon said...

I don't know...
The layers of the onion do change, much like the rings of a tree. The center of the onion is not like the outer layers, and no two layers are the same thickness or anything like that.

Liz A. said...

Ah well. Another analogy bites the dust.

Jay Noel said...

How about a banana? Will that metaphor work?

Helena said...

Me, I always preferred the analogy of being like a dancer with seven veils. Or course now that my body is older no one wants to see that final layer of veil come off.

Ellie Garratt said...

Ha. That really did make me laugh.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Seeeeee, you can write about anything, too. How about cockroaches though.

Peeling onion will only make me cry.

Stephanie Marshall Ward said...

Well, you've definitely ruined that metaphor for me. Every time it comes to mind, all I'll be able to think of is the smell of a rotten onion. :-)