Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Hyperbole: Extreme Exaggeration
(originally posted in 2011)
Warning: PET LOVERS ... don't be offended by the following words ... it's just a hyperbole! :)
My dog is so ugly, he only has cats as friends.
Come on ... did it make you smile, just a little?!
Yes, it did.
First, I just like saying and thinking the word: hyperbole. I feel smarter just for knowing how to pronounce it.
Second, these can be so stinkin' funny ... but I have to admit, sometimes I have to scrunch my eyebrows before I fully understand certain ones.
According to YourDictionary.com:
"A hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point. They would not be used in nonfiction works, like medical journals or research papers, but are perfect for fictional works, especially to add color to a character or humor to the story. Hyperboles are comparisons, like similes and metaphors, but are extravagant and even ridiculous."
Consider the following examples from Worsleyschool.net:
"My sister wears so much make-up, she leaves a color trail behind her when she walks," Grant K.
"My teacher is so old, she taught cave men how to start a fire," Aaron H.
"Saskatchewan is so flat, you can see your dog run away for 4 days!" Jenna.
HOWEVER, you must be careful when using hyperbole to avoid the dreaded cliches. When using a cliche, your hyperbole is dead on arrival and hinders rather than helps your writing.
Avoid the following over-used examples:
•I am so hungry I could eat a horse.
•I have a million things to do.
•I had a ton of homework.
•He is as skinny as a toothpick.
•We are so poor; we don’t have two cents to rub together.
•You could have knocked me over with a feather.
•Her brain is the size of a pea.
•He is older than the hills.
Do you employ an occasional hyperbole in your writing? Do you have a favorite?