I want to name a process that has exactly two possible paths. I'd like to give it a symbolic name. These concepts come to mind but I'm hoping to think of others:

  • coin flip
  • double-edged sword
  • window
  • two-way mirror
  • telephone / fax
  • switch track (for trains)
  • fork

I'd like the concept to be widely accessible / understood. Ideally it would have a positive leaning toward it, as it will be used with medical patients.

What are some other objects / concepts that go two ways or have a choice of two paths?

  • Binary would be the word. – Kris Apr 7 '14 at 6:48

Fork is the generally used metaphor. For medical patients especially, avoid double edged sword since that's a metaphor that means 'your weapon might cut you instead of your enemy'. Also coin flip suggests 'we don't know, really' which is probably not what you want.

Is there a reason you want a metaphor instead of just saying choice?

| improve this answer | |
  • Although I like the word "choice" (especially since it also means "premium"), I'm trying to brainstorm other options because I bet there are other words that are more evocative (generate more visual and emotional meaning for someone and are "stickier" / easier to remember). – Ryan Apr 7 '14 at 14:33

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