Tonight, I have discovered a gap in the poetic imagination of the English language. Children in the United States and United Kingdom are taught that poetry often uses analogy, a form of metaphor that likens one thing to another thing.
My love is like a boiled carrot…
But what’s the opposite of an analogy? People often say that one thing is not analogous to another thing, but what is that state of not being analogous?
Search thesauruses for words that are the opposite of “analogy”, and you won’t find an appropriate term. You’ll find
These words aren’t exact opposite, though. An analogy is not just a similarity or a likeness. It is a relationship between analogues, things that have parallels that are specifically conceptual in nature. An analogy certainly isn’t an agreement.
Why has the English language avoided the creation of a word meaning the opposite of the word “analogy”? What would such a word look like, and how would it change the way we talk and think about things?