1. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Grammar "as" following verb in a simile

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Okon, Nov 14, 2014.

    I've fallen into a habit lately, perhaps I don't like the word "like," or I'm just using too many similes instead of metaphors.

    Is "as" okay in the place of "like," in situations like this? (excuse the unimaginative examples)

    He crept as a spider.

    Instead of

    He crept like a spider.


    The boat swayed as a man full of grog.

    Instead of

    The boat swayed like a man full of grog.

    Reading them now, they do seem weird. The "as" kind of looks like it's trying to set up a simultaneous action in the same sentence:meh:.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Syntactically it feels broken, like it's missing a follow-up verb.

    He crept as a spider [would].

    The boat swayed as a man full of grog [would].
     
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  3. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you @Wreybies, that puts it together for me a bit more. If I don't want to follow up with a verb but still don't want to use "like," I guess I just need to get more elaborate:

    The boat swayed with the grace of a grog-filled man.

    The man crept as if he was a spider (on Garfield's window sill.)
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I had heard somewhere that until the 1920's only "as" was appropriate in proper English. And now I can't find that anywhere.

    In any case it makes the writing sound both proper and antiquated, so if that's what you're going for, do it.
     

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