My friend Mike Tipler is really, really smart. A conversation with him includes several multisyllabic words, not because he’s trying to sound smart, but because they accurately communicate what he’s trying say.
He read my “All Work And No Play” post, and to my chagrin, pointed out that one of my “clever” metaphors actually meant the opposite of what I was trying to illustrate.
Here’s what I wrote:
“Even in the online world, where attention spans have the lifeline of an octogenarian who’s never used hand lotion…”
I was trying to say that the attention spans are really short. I had an image in my mind of a little old lady with tiny hands. Mike pointed out that a) as an octogenarian, she’s already lived a long life and therefore would have a long lifeline, and b) since her hands are dry the wrinkles would be deep and extend from one end of her palm to the other.
Teach me to try to be clever.
Mike’s suggested metaphor is perfect. It’s funny and it gets the point across:
“Even in the online world, where attention spans have the lifeline of a Cubs fan in Bridgeport…”