compare this ideal applicant to themselves

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keannu

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1.I seemed to have learned that "compare A with B" is about comparing two things by a quality, while "compare A to B" is a poetic simile like "compare my loneliness to the moon", but I have seen a lot of non-complying examples, including the underlined. So the rule doesn't seem to be strict. What do you think?
2. Does "general run of humanity " mean "common run of people"? What does "run" here mean? Some kind of product?

st180)When colleges describe their ideal candidate, they all describe more or less the same person. This ideal candidate has top-notch grades, high standardized test scores...Real college applicants sometimes become depressed or feel they are meager candidates when they compare this ideal applicant to themselves...Even extremely selective schools have to dip into the general run of humanity to fill their first-year classes, so don't discount your chances simply because you feel you don't measure up to the ideal.
 
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BobK

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I know of no such rule. Some people, hidebound by etymology (Latin cum) go out of their way to use 'with' in every case; the same people will say 'in the circumstances' rather than 'under the circumstances'.

'General run' here is using 'run' as it is used in 'run-of-the-mill' - meaning ordinary. (This has nothing to do with an Access-All-Areas pass to a windmill. ;-) It is the sort of mill associated with mass-production.)

b
 
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