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1.
An unresolvable and ultimately useless comparison.

A comparison which is just as easy to support as it is to contest.

Something which is both the same and different simultaneously depending on your point of view.

alt. *Apples to Apples*--Though not the initial meaning, occasionally the phrase "apples to oranges" is used to dismiss a "distinct difference" noted between two things which are not distinctly different. IE the neverending opinion wars often attributed to brand-loyalty. These are based on imaginary chasms of vast differences which cannot be proven or conclusively settled. IN other words these things are not really very different, but people desperately want to believe they are.
When someone says "you're comparing apples to oranges" they're really saying "Why are you trying to compare those things? You can't compare apples to oranges, they're just not the same thing."

They're both sweet. They're both fruit. They're both the same. But they're not. One's an apple, and one's an orange. Is that all there is to it? One tastes better. No it doesn't. Yes it does. How do you decide which one everyone likes more? How *can* you decide?

A great example of silly apples to oranges is vanilla and chocolate.

Invalid apples to oranges comparisons would be like comparing Bush or Clinton to Lincoln, Jefferson, or Washington. You can't, so don't.

Examples of useless "nonexistant-vast-differences" apples to oranges comparisons are Macs and PC's, Fords and Chevys, Nikons and Canons.. In reality this is mostly "apples to apples" comparison.

Apples to oranges usually ends with each person believing or feeling whatever they do and leaving it at that. That's all there is to it. Neither can really ever be better or worse, and nobody can win the argument.

In the end, the whole point of making the comparison is to illustrate: there is really no point in making the comparison.
by Armand Banana January 09, 2006
83 16
 
2.
a comparison that is unfair because the subjects cannot be evaluated according to the same criteria
This discussion on who has the most authority in the county is apples to oranges. We are getting nothing done.
by The Return of Light Joker January 15, 2011
11 7