Can snow be dry?

Disclaimer: There are a lot of questions packed in but their answers are interdependent. Different textures of snow can be described as “wet” and “dry”. Considering that water is the quintessence of wetness and snow is water, is it accurate to describe snow as being dry? Is there a fallacy in the above syllogism because … Read more

Literal echelons?

Merriam-Webster and the OED list only figurative senses of the word echelon (i.e. military formations and organizational ranks). Would it be incorrect to use it in the literal sense of the French word from which it derives (échelon) to refer to a tier on a physical structure? Gardens had been planted on the upper echelons … Read more

“Money for rope” … meaning and derivation?

I was listening to John Lennon’s song “Gimme Some Truth” just now, and in it there’s a recurring line: “. . . money for rope.” I never thought about it much before, but it strikes me this has to be some kind of aphorism or at least a familiar idiom somewhere. Does anyone know what … Read more

Similes and Metaphors – are similes a subset of metaphors?

I’ve always been taught that metaphors and similes both draw a parallel between two disparate ideas/thoughts/objects, but that a simile is a more explicit comparison using the word “like” or “is”, whereas a metaphor’s connection is more implicit. For example, “His injured ankle burned like a hot stove” is a simile, where as, “His injured … Read more