like comparing apples and oranges

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like comparing apples and oranges

Highlighting the similarities and differences between two people or things that are not really comparable at all. You can't compare your job as a nurse to mine as an engineer—that's like comparing apples and oranges! Look, comparing the business model of a small local business to that of a giant global conglomerate is like comparing apples and oranges—they are two completely different things!
See also: and, apple, compare, like, orange
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

apples and oranges, like comparing

Comparing two unlike objects or issues. This term, dating from the second half of the 1900s, has largely replaced the difference between chalk and cheese, at least in America. The latter expression of disparateness is much older, dating from the 1500s. Why apples and oranges, since they’re both fruits, and not some other object is unclear. Nevertheless, it has caught on and is on the way to being a cliché.
See also: and, apple, compare, like
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
References in periodicals archive ?
Comparing Colin's talent to the other finalists is like comparing apples and oranges.
I realize I am comparing apples and oranges, since factors like cost of living and the availability of other social programs may apply, but these figures are worth considering.
Comparing Neuer to Suarez is like comparing apples and oranges. Both players perform completely dierent roles.
That figure was strongly disputed by HRI chief executive Brian Kavanagh, who said Kenny was "comparing apples and oranges".
You'd be comparing apples and oranges, and sometimes comparing apples and oranges to meat and potatoes.
Comparing the bowls, however, is like comparing apples and oranges. They are both very challenging in their own ways.
I just think it's like comparing apples and oranges. We talk to different types of people--my audience tends to be very urban, and I think that Martha's audience is more suburban."
This is a rigorous process where someone systematically collects all the research on a topic, both pro and con, and uses a method to compare the studies that is analogous to comparing apples and oranges by calling them all fruit.
So much for the difficulty of comparing apples and oranges. Such is the logic of teaching only argument, debate, picking sides, disproving the opposition--without an alternative, "another recourse."
"If you're making comparisons across denominational lines, you want to keep all variables parallel because you're already comparing apples and oranges to start with.
Unless the two groups of VOCs match, Bukowski's group may be "comparing apples and oranges," Dyer says.