Archive for the ‘Correction’ Category

Analogies I: Zippy and Lewis Carroll

May 9, 2010

It’s the weekend: cartoon time! Yesterday brought us Zippy and Zerbina, on a bicycle, on their marriage:

Six simple analogies, “X is like Y”, in a row, none of them making much sense in this context — or in any context you can easily imagine.

The prototype of the inscrutable analogy is the Mad Hatter’s celebrated riddle “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” in Alice in Wonderland. This is one step beyond simple analogies, in that it asks for an explanation, a reason (preferably, a clever one) for the analogy; it expects an answer of the form “X is like Y because R”.

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