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Finally, states should reduce or eliminate the least useful graduate programs. Journalism (now dubbed “communications”), business and education are prime candidates. Is “prime candidates” here used as a metaphor or a personification?

  • Keep in mind that candidates do not have to be human. "Prime candidates" is neither a metaphor or a personification, rather a definition. – Xanne Mar 7 '17 at 4:20
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Personification is a form of metaphor, a comparison that does not claim an object or action is "like" another object or action, but that is literally the same object or action, but with the added caveat that the object being described is not human, but being described as human.

Metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. It makes an indirect comparison between two different and unrelated things.

Candidate(noun) meaning: a person who applies for a job or is nominated for election.

Finally, states should reduce or eliminate the least useful graduate programs. Journalism (now dubbed “communications”), business and education are prime candidates.

In this sentence, business and education are personified as candidates.

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