Analogy: A kind of extended metaphor or long simile in which an explicit comparison is made between two things (events, ideas, people, etc.) for the purpose of furthering a line of reasoning or drawing an inference; a form of reasoning employing comparative or parallel cases.

Ex 1: "Withdrawal of U.S. troops will become like salted peanuts to the American public; the more U.S. troops come home, the more will be demanded."

-- Henry Kissinger, Memo to President Richard Nixon, 10 September 1969.

Ex 2: "What would vigorous youth be without love? A long illness—it would not be existence; it would be vegetating. Love is to our hearts what winds are to the sea. They grow into tempests, true; they are sometimes even the cause of shipwrecks. But the winds render the sea navigable, their constant agitation of its surface is the cause of its preservation, and if they are often dangerous, it is for the pilot to know how to navigate in safety."

-- Ninon de Lanclos, Letters to the Marquis de Sévigné
 

 

 

Further Examples  
"I don't think there's anything certainly more unseemly than the sight of a rock star in academic robes. It's a bit like when people put their King Charles spaniels in little tartan sweats and hats. It's not natural, and it doesn't make the dog any smarter."

-- Bono, 2004 Commencement Address at The University of Pennsylvania

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"Jesus once said that the gate to the kingdom is narrow. But we are narrow in mathematics. We are narrow in chemistry. If we weren't narrow in chemistry, they'd be blowing the place up. We have to be narrow. We are narrow when we are flying a plane. I'm glad that pilots aren't too broad-minded and just come in any way they want to. And why shouldn't we be narrow when it comes to spiritual dimensions and moral laws?"

-- Billy Graham, 1962 Address at The Harvard Law School Forum

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"Remember this, ladies and gentlemen. It's an old phrase, basically anonymous -- that politicians are a lot like diapers: They should be changed frequently and for the same reason. Keep that in mind next time you vote. Good night."

-- delivered by Robin Williams (from the movie Man of the Year)

"I wanna say thank you to all the fans that voted for me and Owen [Wilson] for Wedding Crashers. And I feel a little guilty about winning the award 'cause it's not that hard of a thing to do. When you work with someone like Owen Wilson, I kind of feel like a jockey on the back of a great horse like Secretariat. My job is just to hold on."

-- Vince Vaughn acceptance address for Best On-Screen Team MTV Movie Award

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[Texas Rangers Announcer Eric Nadel's call of the final out for Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle's April 18th, 2007 no hitter]

"I gotta e-mail from Michael. He goes, "David, isn't all the media coverage of a no-hitter against the Rangers the same as covering blue whales eating plankton? One fish is a big pro and the other is just food."

-- David Smoak, On Air Radio Personality, KTBB, Tyler Texas (04/19/07)

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"Our men in uniform are like the college football players. While the struggle is impending, they are observing the rules of training that they may be fit to fight. But when the game has been won, the temptation to break training and make up for the restraints of the past months and years will be a mighty one."

-- John D. Rockefeller, Jr., War Campaign Address

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"I look at this as being in the form of a house...and the students are the foundation, and the teachers are the walls, and the roof itself is the school. And we know that if you have a weak foundation, the walls and the roof can't be supported. Therefore, it crumbles."

-- Northwestern State University student Jason Madison, Student's should 'come first' address

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Dr. Wilson: "The clot could explain the [bleeding] eye and the hallucinations. But what about the tumor? Tumors the size of an octopus wrapped around a little girl's heart are not just a coincidence."

Dr. Cameron: "She's not healthy. She's never been healthy."

Dr. Wilson: "What's the theory here? This girl's body's a lemon? Faulty manufacturing? Everything's falling apart?"

Dr. House: "The tumor is Afghanistan; the clot is Buffalo. Does that need more explanation? Okay, the tumor is Al Qaeda: the big bad guy with brains who in, wiped it out, but it had already sent out a splinter cell; a small team of low level terrorists quietly living in some suburb of Buffalo, waiting to kill us all."

Dr. Foreman: "Whoa, whoa, you're trying to say that the tumor threw a clot before we removed it?"

Dr. House: "It was an excellent metaphor: Angio her brain before this clot straps on an explosive vest."

Note: Technically, House did use a metaphor (actually several) -- as did Wilson in comparing the size of a tumor with an octopus. However, the metaphor became an analogy when it was used as the basis for an explicit command -- "Angio her brain" -- which lay outside of the metaphor proper,

-- delivered by and Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, Jennifer Morrison, and Omar Epps (from the TV drama House, M.D., Season 2, Episode entitled "Autopsy")

"By affirming the desirability of the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, we have concentrated on the steps that are achievable and verifiable. My colleague, Sam Nunn, has described the effort as akin to climbing a mountain shrouded in clouds: We cannot describe the top to be certain that there may not be unforeseen, perhaps even insurmountable, obstacles. But we are prepared to undertake the journey in the belief that the summit will never come into view unless we begin the ascent and deal with the proliferation issues immediately before us, including the Iranian and North Korean programs."

-- Henry Kissinger, 45th Munich Security Conference

 
"Don't worry about the future; or worry -- but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum."

-- Baz Luhrmann, Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)

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"Dumb gorgeous people should not be allowed to use literature when competing in the pick-up pool. It's like bald people wearing hats."

-- delivered by Matt McGrath (from the movie Broken Hearts Club)

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"Along with you and other members of this Committee, Mr. Chairman, I recognize that enduring success in Afghanistan will require the development of Afghan National Security Forces in sufficient numbers and sufficient quality.  This is, of course, hugely important and hugely challenging.  Indeed, helping to train and equip host nation forces in the midst of an insurgency is akin to building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed, and while it is being shot at.  There is nothing easy about it."

-- General David Petraeus, ISAF Confirmation Hearing Statement

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"This is Orson Wells, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that the War of the Worlds has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be -- the Mercury Theater's own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying 'boo.'"

-- Orson Wells, original radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds

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Lt. Cmdr. Ron Hunter: You know what's goin' on here?

Petty Officer Vossler: Yes, sir.

Hunter: No, I don't think you do. Let me explain it to you. If we launch and we're wrong, what's left of Russia is gonna launch at us. There will be a nuclear holocaust beyond imagination, so it's all about knowing, Mr. Vossler. We have to know whether or not our order to launch has been recalled or not. The only way we're gonna know is if you fix that radio. You understand me?

Vossler: Yes, sir.

Hunter: You ever watch Star Trek? Star Trek...you know Star Trek, the USS Enterprise?

Vossler: Yeah....

Hunter: Alright. You remember when the Klingons were going to blow up the Enterprise and Captain Kirk calls down to Scotty? He says "Scotty, I gotta have more power --"

Vossler: He needs more, more warp speed....

Hunter: Warp speed, exactly.

Vossler: Yeah.

Hunter: Well I'm Captain Kirk. You're Scotty. I need more power. I'm telling you, if you do not get this radio up a billion people are going to die. Can you handle it? Scotty?

Vossler: Aye, Captain.

-- delivered by Denzel Washington and Lillo Brancato (from the movie Crimson Tide)

Note: In this case a comparison is made between the current situational crisis and a similar situation in Star Trek. The comparison is made to further the line of reasoning that a) the present situation is critical and b) Vossler (like Scotty) must get the job done or else....

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So, why do you write these strong women characters? Because equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity, we need it to stand on this earth as men and women.

-- Joss Whedon, Equality Now Tribute Address

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"Wishing for the end to AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa is like wishing that gravity didn't make things so damn heavy. We can wish it, but what the hell can we do about it?"

-- Bono, 2004 Commencement Address at The University of Pennsylvania

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"In sum, if public universities and colleges don’t reform themselves to contain costs and improve graduation rates, federal and state governments will step in and like the dinosaur, government has a heavy foot, a small brain, and no fine motor skills. Believe me, I know."

-- Robert Gates, 125th Meeting of the Association of Public Land Grant Universities

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"And a voice seemed to say to me, "You are an old man and you have not said thank you; you have not brought your gratitude back to the soil from which this fragrance arose." And so I come here tonight to thank the soil and the soul of this people that has given me so much -- because I know just as an identity card is not a man, a credit rating is not a country."

-- Leonard Cohen, Prince of Asturias Awards Acceptance Address

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