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Nonnies have a reputation of being very, very earnest... and, often, very, very, literal. Depending on the nonny, the day, and the topic, this may be due to neurology, language differences, naïveté, trolling, or just being dumb.

One of the most amazing examples of Overly Literal Anons at work was The Great Metaphor Wank of September 2014. It began with this comment in which a nonny praised C.S. Pacat’s Captive Prince for its “spare but striking use of metaphor,” providing this example: “Laurent spoke Akielon as a fastidious man might pick up a soiled handkerchief, between thumb and forefinger.” This led to a 133-comment flamewar about clarity, punctuation, syntax, “convoluted” metaphors, “purple prose,” and nonnies’ putative reading levels (“Frankly, if people are confused by that little amount of analogy, they are not equipped for reading, period”).

In January 2016, a nonny quoted G.K. Chesterton: “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” While this was obviously a statement about how fairy tales give children hope in terms of conquering their fears, there were complaints from nonnies who wanted to befriend dragons as children, who “would have not liked someone telling me what I should get from fairytales and would have probably shunned them out of resentment,” who weren’t sure what the dragon stood for, who assumed Chesterton had underestimated children’s comprehension, and who pedantically claimed that “fairy tales weren’t intended for children” (highly debatable).

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