3

In this NPR news:

TODD SPENCER: Companies go through drivers like oats go through a horse. I mean, drivers are considered very much a disposable commodity.

Isn't it unsymmetrical before and after "like"? Horse consumes oats and excreted eventually, shouldn't it be "drivers go through companies" based on meaning and symmetrical?

4

"Shouldn't it be "drivers go through companies"

No, it shouldn't. This is backwards to the meaning of the quote.

I can see where the confusion is coming from. At first glance, it looks like this is the comparison:

Companies go through  drivers
          like
   oats  go through a horse

It may look seem like the quote is comparing companies to oats, and drivers to horses.

However, in reality, the comparison is slightly different. The quote is saying that companies go through (meaning hire and fire, or in other words, turn around period) drivers as quickly and as thoughtlessly as oats go through a horse (and they go through very quickly). There is also a slight hidden comparison being drawn between the poop of the horse and the drivers, in that the company doesn't value the drivers at all.

The quote is correct in its phrasing. It is not drivers switching companies, but companies firing and hiring drivers.

This is confirmed by the second sentence of the quote,

I mean, drivers are considered very much a disposable commodity.

2

For the sake of parallel construction (and disregarding meaning) you may be correct in reversing the order of companies and drivers, however the phrase go through has two different meanings in this sentence

Companies go through drivers...

Refers to companies replacing drivers
By changing the ordering

...drivers go through companies...

would reference the speed which drivers change working for companies

...oats go through a horse.

Refers to the speed and or ease that oats literally are digested by a horse

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