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    #1

    Question Analogy Confusion

    There has been great debate in our family regarding the definition of an analogy. Not only the definition but the types of speech that are being defined if they are incorrect regarding an analogy.

    I understand an analogy to be, "illustration of an idea by means of a more familiar idea that is similar or parallel to it in some significant features, and thus said to be analogous to it. Analogies are often presented in the form of an extended simile", as in "Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo." (Don Marquis)

    My daughter said that it was the similarity of structure like time and emit. She also referred to time and mite.

    I found this definition, "The process by which words or morphemes are re-formed or created on the model of existing grammatical patterns in a language, often leading to greater regularity in paradigms, as evidenced by helped replacing holp and holpen as the past tense and past participle of help on the model of verbs such as yelp, yelped, yelped."

    Is that what she is talking about (that definition is way over my head btw LOL)? Or is she wrong altogether? If so, what type of speech is that? Please clear up this debate and help me to teach my daughter the proper parts of speech by enabling her to label what she is referring to!

    Thanks,
    Nicole

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Analogy Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by kanpope View Post
    There has been great debate in our family regarding the definition of an analogy. Not only the definition but the types of speech that are being defined if they are incorrect regarding an analogy.
    You are both right. "Analogy" is a very broad term.
    Your daughter is using it in a linguistic context that she's learnt, and probably has not had the experience with the more general meaning that you understand.
    Analogy is explaining one thing in terms of another to make it more easy to understand (in your definition).
    Analogy is expressing one thing in similar terms to another to regularise the system (in your daughter's definition). This is a specific definition in linguistics.
    That is, where English used to use the terms /help, holp, holpen/, it now uses /help, helped, helped/, in analogy to the verb "yelp".

    You could explain to your daughter that 'analogy' has more than one meaning - but that the meanings are similar.


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    #3

    Re: Analogy Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You could explain to your daughter that 'analogy' has more than one meaning - but that the meanings are similar.
    So TIME and EMIT is an analogy?

  2. opa6x57's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Analogy Confusion

    I'm not a teacher...

    Quote Originally Posted by kanpope View Post
    My daughter said that it was the similarity of structure like time and emit. She also referred to time and mite.


    Thanks,
    Nicole
    I think your daughter is talking about an 'anagram'.

    Anagram - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    #5

    Re: Analogy Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by kanpope View Post
    So TIME and EMIT is an analogy?
    As opa6x57 says, that is an anagram. Perhaps your daughter is confusing (and conflating) the two. She is obviously referring to analogy because she correctly says it refers to a similarity of structure, but 'time' and 'emit' don't have a similar structure.
    So she's mixing the two definitions together.


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    #6

    Re: Analogy Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    She is obviously referring to analogy because she correctly says it refers to a similarity of structure, but 'time' and 'emit' don't have a similar structure. So she's mixing the two definitions together.
    Can you please give me an example of an analogy that reflects similarity in structure? I am still not understanding the working use of this definition.

    Thanks

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    #7

    Re: Analogy Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by kanpope View Post
    Can you please give me an example of an analogy that reflects similarity in structure? I am still not understanding the working use of this definition.

    Thanks
    Where English used to use the terms /help, holp, holpen/, it now uses /help, helped, helped/, in analogy to the verb "yelp".
    /yelp, yelped, yelped/ are the present, past tense, and past participle of the verb 'yelp'.
    'Help', which rhymes with 'yelp', was made regular, in analogy with/to 'yelp'.
    The tenses of the verb 'help' were of a different structure to those of 'yelp'. Now, by the process of analogy, they have the same structure.

    Another example: The words light and night are sometimes spelled lite and nite, especially for commercial applications. If other words such as flight, sight, blight came to be spelled flite, site and blite, then this would be in analogy to lite and nite. The new spellings of flight, sight and blight would be analogous to the new spellings of light and night - that is, "expressing one thing in similar terms to another to regularise the system".


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    #8

    Re: Analogy Confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Another example: The words light and night are sometimes spelled lite and nite, especially for commercial applications. If other words such as flight, sight, blight came to be spelled flite, site and blite, then this would be in analogy to lite and nite. The new spellings of flight, sight and blight would be analogous to the new spellings of light and night - that is, "expressing one thing in similar terms to another to regularise the system".
    Thank you very much!

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