Thursday, October 10, 2013

Apples and Oranges

I've always had a problem with the phrase "comparing apples and oranges." Why couldn't we have used two more disparate things (grapes and bricks) or something that rolls more nicely off the tongue (peaches and leeches). In many ways the two are remarkably similar; both spherical fruits that are good to eat. Easy to compare. Look at the data for 100g:

Apples
Calories47.5kcal
Carbohydrate11.3g
Protein0.4g
Fat0.1g
Fibre1.8g
Oranges
Calories62.1kcal
Carbohydrate15.6g
Protein1.0g
Fat0.3g
Fibre3.2g

I understand what the phrase is supposed to mean; I'm just a little disappointed by the choice of avatars for different objects.

Serbians replace apples and oranges with "babe" and "zhabe". Not only do the two rhyme, but they mean grandmothers and frogs. Which are clearly very different.

2 comments:

  1. Let's start using it here! It's great.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Apples/oranges seems more of a statement that it is important to keep in mind that things that seem similar may be very different. Almost no one expect an audience to swallow an argument that says - if it is true for whales it must be true for electrons. It is where the distinction is less clear that you need to point it out

    ReplyDelete