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Entries in #marktwain (1)


Searching for Similes

I love Mark Twain. I was doing an internet search to figure out what other people had used to complete the phrase "dart like a ____," and one of the first results took me to a page out of a Dictionary of Similies from 1916. This page contained many of the usual suspects, such as:

 Darted like an eagle.
  Darted … like an arrow aflame.
            —Joseph Conrad

  Darted like a skimming bird.

            —Joseph Conrad

And others that made me smile, like:

  Darting like glittering elves at play.
            —Mary M. Fenollosa

  Darted away like a bird that has been fluttering around its nest before it takes a distant

            —James Fenimore Cooper

And still others that rely on a familiarity with things that might be just a tad out of date:

 Darts on like a greyhound whelp after a leveret.
            —Walter Savage Landor

Shakespeare even weighs in, timeless as he usually is:

 Their influence darts
Like subtle poison through the bloodless veins of desolate society.
            —William Shakespeare

But the medal goes to Twain's simile, listed last, and a welcome relief from all of these romantic, flowery, natural images and--as one is wont to get from Twain--straight to the point:

Darted away like a telegram.
            —Mark Twain