Apples and Apples

At a basic level, we compare like things to like things: one apple to another for taste, color, size, etc. We usually compare similar kinds of things to answer questions of worth or suitability: is this the best pen (of several kinds) to write with? Is this the best stereo system (of several brands) for me to buy? Is this the best interpretation (among competing ones) of this poem? In these instances, the elements being compared are similar and do similar things, and thus can be compared point by point.

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