Rhetoric & Homiletics: Preaching & Daylight Savings Time

apple oranges  The Powerful Use Of Analogy


The power of “analogy” is multiple . . . .

It can . . . .

adds insight
shape thinking
drive a point
transform thinking
control the way one sees life

√  It is a verbal shortcut.
√  The best analogy often wins the argument.
√  “Analogy” is one of the several bedrock concepts of communication!
√  They are arguments – powerful arguments.
√  Most of the argumentative power is typically found underneath the berg’s water level.
√  The ability to use analogy is what has made speechwriters in the West Wing some of the most effective.
√ They are not accidents, but purposeful verbal creations.
√  They often go unnoticed, as √  number five above.
√  They were used by Jesus remembered and recorded across the pages of the four Gospel.
√  They are found throughout all the books of the Bible and mark some of the most remembered Scriptural accounts.
√  “Analogy” has the ability to affect the way we view something —  and that — maybe for a lifetime —

Let me give you an example of that . . . .

“Daylight Savings Time Is Like . . . .”

Imagine with me — being cold — and you simply mention to your wife that you need a blanket and ask where you can get one.  Your wife graciously offers to retrieve it for you and takes one out of the home’s linen closet.  She unfolds the blanket and stretches it across your body.  However, while it covers your feet, it only reaches up to your stomach area.

“Honey, I think the blanket is about two feet short.  Do we have a longer one?”

Your lovely wife graciously responds — but instead of getting another blanket, she gets a scissor and cuts off two feet from the bottom of the blanket which is covering your feet, and lays that two-foot piece on the uncovered area.

That is daylight savings time!


Analogies appear in many different forms — both very short and others even more extensive than the one above.  They appear in the form of . . . .

figures of speech,



Other Notes & Links:

Short Examples:

Repeating mistakes is like tripping over your own feet: avoidable with a little attention.

Brothers are like street lights. They won’t make the path any shorter or easier, but they will help you see the way.

A home cooked meal after a time away from home is like an oasis in the desert.

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.



Many might not realize how the war in Vietnam was sold to the American public by the political class.  Whatever your thinking as to the wisdom of getting into it and/or the many weaknesses which lead to its failure — the sell was made by the use of “analogy.”

The analogy used was “dominoes.”  The argument being made was that the fall of Vietnam to the communist would set off a domino effect and topple the other countries and governments throughout that whole area.

That does not speak to the nature of analogy — good, bad, useful, dangerous, off-limits, clarifying, helpful, effective, profitable, exploitative, advantageous, valuable, utilitarian, etc.  Analogies are used ALL THE TIME in most all communication with all of the named difficulties or benefits as stated previously.

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