Add a paste special option to ArcMap, ArcScene, and ArcGlobe where you can copy one layer's symbology and apply it to another. In ArcCatalog, copy and paste special could be used to copy metadata information between datasets.
For symbology, you go to Layer Properties > Symbology Tab > Import. You can apply symbology from a layer in the map or a LYR file.
For metadata, I belive the Metadata Importer tool will do what you want.Or do you specifically want the functionality in a copy/paste "special" workflow?
Retrieving data ...