Post by arthurvv vart
1) He hit me with his hammer of a fist.
2) He hit me with his hammers of fists.
Are these sentences grammatical?
The fist is the hammer. We have a metaphor. I think '1' works and '2' doesn't, but I am not sure.
3) He had a hammer of a fist.
4) He had hammers of fists.
We could, but we shouldn't. There are hardly any occasions - indeed,
none at all that I can think of right now - when anybody would use
two real hammers at the same time, so the metaphor doesn't work.
I have lots of images in my head of old-fashioned blacksmiths pounding
a piece of metal with two hammers, one in each hand. Some are from my
childhood: there was a blacksmith's shop near my house in the 1950s, and
it was one of the pleasures of my life to walk by the open doors and watch
the blacksmith pounding away with two hammers.
Strangely, though, the simile "fists like hammers" is okay - the familiar
twoness of fists swamps the unfamiliar twoness of hammers, but
in "hammers of fists" it doesn't.
It depends on the execution of the metaphor. After my family settled in Canada,
we all took to the late Tennessee Ernie Ford's rendition of the song Sixteen
If you see me comin' better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died
One first of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't get you, then the left one will