Posted by RRC on April 17, 2007
In Reply to: Re: Fail by comparison posted by Smokey Stover on April 17, 2007
: : Can anyone tell me what the phrase "fail by comparison" means? Whats the origin?
: Whether some particular thing (or person) sounds good initially or not, if you compare it to others of the same type, they just don't measure up--they fail by comparison. It's when you make the comparison that you realize the shortcomings, the failure, of whatever you started with. Obviously you can use this in the plural as well. The Neanderthals are a smart bunch of hominims, but they fail by comparison with the contemporary Cro-Magnons (our ancestors).
There's also a very similar common phrase which is "pale by comparison" or "pale in comparison". The beauty of the common daisy pales in comparison to the perfect rose.