Under the guise of metaphor, analogy serves the transmission of ones thoughts and outlooks in an indirect and allusive manner
In literature and poetry analogy is used in order to make people laugh. The humoristic value of analogy can easily be noticed in cartoons and comic performances.
Analogy can be discerned in creations and emergence of terms present in language.
Often a physical prototype is built to model and represent some other physical object. For example, wind tunnels are used to test scale models of wings and aircraft, which act as an analogy to full-size wings and aircraft.
For example, the MONIAC (an analog computer) used the flow of water in its pipes as an analog to the flow of money in an economy.
In civil law systems, where the preeminent source of law is legal codes and statutes, a lacuna (a gap) arises when a specific issue is not explicitly dealt with in written law. Judges will try to identify a provision whose purpose applies to the case at hand. That process can reach a high degree of sophistication, as judges sometimes not only look at a specific provision to fill lacunae (gaps), but at several provisions (from which an underlying purpose can be inferred) or at general principles of the law to identify the legislator's value judgement from which the analogy is drawn. Besides the not very frequent filling of lacunae, analogy is very commonly used between different provisions in order to achieve substantial coherence. Analogy from previous judicial decisions is also common, although these decisions are not binding authorities.
In precedential law (case law), analogies can be drawn from precedent cases (cases decided in past): The judge who decides the case at hand may find that the facts of this case are similar to the facts of one of precedential cases to an extent that the outcomes of these cases are justified to be the same or similar.
Analogies as defined in rhetoric are a comparison between words, but an analogy can be used in teaching as well. An analogy as used in teaching would be comparing a topic that students are already familiar with, with a new topic that is being introduced so that students can get a better understanding of the topic and relate back to previous knowledge. Shawn Glynn, a professor in the department of educational psychology and instructional technology at the University of Georgia, developed a theory on teaching with analogies and developed steps to explain the process of teaching with this method. The steps for teaching with analogies are as follows: Step one is introducing the new topic that is about to be taught and giving some general knowledge on the subject. Step two is reviewing the concept that the students already know to ensure they have the proper knowledge to assess the similarities between the two concepts. Step three is finding relevant features within the analogy of the two concepts. Step four is finding similarities between the two concepts so students are able to compare and contrast them in order to understand. Step five is indicating where the analogy breaks down between the two concepts. And finally, step six is drawing a conclusion about the analogy and comparison of the new material with the already learned material. Typically this method is used to learn topics in science.
In 1989 Kerry Ruef, a teacher, began an entire program, which she titled The Private Eye Project. It is a method of teaching that revolves around using analogies in the classroom to better explain topics. She thought of the idea to use analogies as a part of curriculum because she was observing objects once and she said, "my mind was noting what else each object reminded me of..." This led her to teach with the question, "what does [the subject or topic] remind you of?" The idea of comparing subjects and concepts led to the development of The Private Eye Project as a method of teaching. The program is designed to build critical thinking skills with analogies as one of the main themes revolving around it. While Glynn focuses on using analogies to teach science, The Private Eye Project can be used for any subject including writing, math, art, social studies, and invention. It is now used by thousands of schools around the country. There are also various pedagogic innovations now emerging that use visual analogies for cross-disciplinary teaching and research, for instance between science and the humanities.