We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

As one of the country’s premier newspapers, the Post must use every implement in the writer’s tool kit to tell its stories. No punctuation mark can go unused; no feature device can go unexplored; and pile on the metaphors!

Introducing a new feature rating the Post’s periodic attempt at belletristic grandeur:

Washington Post Literary Flourish: “The cacophony starts before the first light of dawn, like an agitated rooster.”

The Verdict: Roosters need not be agitated to crow.

Washington Post Literary Flourish: “His grandfather Harvey J. Haynie had a big white horse, called Pat, and Ricky sometimes still sees the two of them in his dreams, out there in the fields, a man and his mount blending with the land like wedded partners in a slow dance.”

The Verdict: Add: “as the purple rays of an expired sun washed their coarse skin.”

Washington Post Literary Flourish: “Husband and wife stand at the back door to say goodbye to Haynie. They seem as connected as tree and shade.”

The Verdict: Focus groups found this one direct, elegant.

Washington Post Literary Flourish: “Her eyelashes curl like a fawn’s. She has milk-chocolate skin as smooth as blown glass.”

The Verdict: Leading qualities of glass: hard, transparent, brittle.

Washington Post Literary Flourish: “His pale blue eyes shimmer like glass stones set in a creamy canvas.”

The Verdict: Like a rhinestone cowboy