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In other (hopefully more graceful) words, are both of the following lines valid?

  1. "A smiling Freddy flung the slimy papaya around like a wet rag."

  2. "A smiling Freddy flung the slimy papaya around like it's a wet rag."

The first one sounds snappy and concise — but may sound like it's comparing an unassuming Freddy, literally, to a wet rag. Meanwhile, the second line draws a clearer, more plausible comparison, albeit at the expense of smoothness in rhythm, if you will.

What the hell do you guys think?! DAMN! heh

P.S. Someone help me rephrase this awful question better.

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    Shirley, you're not implying that a sentence in English can be ambiguous?
    – Hot Licks
    May 11 '20 at 3:08
  • #2 would sound much better if you wrote "like it was a wet rag" (past tense). But that said, in this example at least, it's pretty clear that in #1, the comparison of the wet rag is with the papaya and not with the unassuming Freddy. I'm not sure there's a rule, because I can also imagine this: "A smiling Freddy flung the slimy papaya around like an overexcited money playing with a banana peel." May 11 '20 at 5:41

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