Welcome to Visual Dictionary, a series of posts about words that are better expressed in pictures.
This is an awl. Use it to punch holes!
Nouns for physical objects occur most often in Analogies questions. So if you saw a question that began AWL : PERMEATING, you would make a sentence like “An AWL is a tool used for PERMEATING a substance” or “A 1 is a tool used for doing 2 to a substance.” Then you’d search for the answer choice that works best in the 1 and 2 spots of the above sentence.
Which of the following two answer choices would be your final answer as a match for AWL : PERMEATING?
A) BLENDER : HOMOGENIZING
B) VARNISH : SEALING
Many Analogies questions are easily narrowed down to two choices, when difficult decisions have to be made. It’s true that a blender can homogenize and varnish can seal.
Go back to the relationship sentence. If you had written “An AWL is for PERMEATING” or “A 1 is for 2,” both choices seem correct! But a more specific sentence should include that an awl is a tool for permeating, and also that the permeating is done to something else.
Is a BLENDER a tool? Yes. Does it homogenize another substance? Yes.
Is varnish a tool? No. This is not a valid match. (Something that meant “varnish applying device” in place of “varnish” would’ve made the choice a match).
I wonder if leatherworkers ever say “Go out there and give it your awl!”