Cuba's singing capitalitsts and useless analogies

Similes are, of course, comparisons using "like" or "as." The point of these comparisons or analogies is to help the listener understand a new concept buy referencing another one.

But they are culturally dependent. And sometimes utterly useless.

During a story on singing street vendors in Cuba, they interviewed a woman who sells Tamales from a cart.

She said:

Tamales are like coconuts.


Tamales have hard shells?

Tamales give milk?

You can add shredded tamale to birthday cake?

You get tamales from tall trees?

Tamales play a prominent role in cartoon violence?

Tamales are used euphemistically to describe women's physiques?

If you have a Professor nearby, you can convert tamales into radio parts?

How exactly are tamale's like coconuts?

They spoil easily. I don't stop doing my pregon until I have sold everything because I will not try to sell the leftover tamales the next day.

Hm. Coconuts spoil easily? Is this something I should already know? It's not on my syllabus.

It's easy to forget how culturally specific our analogies and references can be. It's something I need to keep in mind for my own presentations.

You can read/listen to the story here.


A Valdese Blogger said...

I once made a baseball reference (something coming at you out of left field) to a person from N.Z. Didn't work.

Cromely said...

@A Valdese Blogger: I can imagine. I'll have to keep that in mind if I can swing a cross ocean business trip