Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
Now, THIS is a fun word that just tickles my funny bone! Think how dull language would be without hyperbole. We could never say, for instance, “It’s a glorious day that makes my heart sing!” Whoever heard of a singing heart? No one. So we’d be stuck with, “It’s a very nice day.”
We couldn’t say, “My morning coffee stokes my furnace and warms me up so I can get this old bag of bones moving.” We’d have to say, “Coffee helps me wake up in the morning.”
We couldn’t say, “That puppy is so friendly his whole body wags.” We’d have to say, “That’s a friendly puppy.”
“The pain in my back is so bad, it feels like someone took a hot poker and shoved it in there.” No. Just “My back hurts.”
“That brownie made my tummy smile.” No. Just, “That brownie was good.”
“It’s so cold that your nose is going to snap off like a broken icicle.” No. Just “It’s quite cold today.”
Exaggeration is part of hyperbole. It’s not meant to be taken literally. It’s meant to create a vivid mental picture. It’s meant to convey a strong sense of whatever the speaker or writer is trying to describe. There’s no dishonesty intended. Hyperbole makes a story more fun, and livens up our language with color and texture. I don’t know anyone who is so literal that their speech contains no hyperbole.
For some reason, an old 60s song comes to mind. “What is love? Five feet of heaven and a ponytail.” Great hyperbole.