As Smart as a Whip?

This week I’m looking at “as-as” construction. We tend to mess this one up a lot because we often say a sentence with this structure incorrectly. When using as-as construction, you have to use as twice—before and after the adjective.


They were thick as thieves.
She’s smart as a whip.


They were as thick as thieves.
She’s as smart as a whip.

One exception is: “He did as best he could.” As best is a traditional idiom (according to Bryan Gardner) that substitutes “as good as.”

Hopefully, though, you don’t use these clichés in your writing! And just how smart is a whip anyway?

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  1. I saw your as-as item in my Google reader today, and I have linked to it in the text at the end of an article that I published in March 2011. I have used the URL of my article to post this comment. Thank you for your invaluable instruction for writers. Your “Live Write Thrive” is inspiring.

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