For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill wants us to use the word “contrast” in our posts.
I can remember when I was in high school and college receiving writing assignments asking me to “compare and contrast” two or more somethings, like items, opinions, beliefs, or philosophies. My first reaction to such an assignment was typically something like, “Well, which do you want me to do, compare them or contrast them?”
After all, while “compare” and “contrast” are similar in that you’re looking at and evaluating things, they are not synonymous. To contrast something is to look for differences among two or more elements, but to compare something is to do the opposite, to look for similarities.
Let me give you a quick and simple illustration of “compare and contrast” by doing so with dogs and cats.
How dogs and cats compare (or are similar): both are household pets that are furry.
How dogs and cats contrast (or are different): A dog looks at you and thinks to himself, “You feed me, you shelter me, you love me. YOU must be God!” A cat looks at you and thinks to himself, “You feed me, you shelter me, you love me. I must be God!”
I hope that helps.