Copyright ©2010 by Paul NiquetteAll rights reserved.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with hyperbole. It may be the most effective weapon for attacking the bland, the mundane, the ordinary. Like any weapon, though, hyperbole can be dangerous in the hands of the mindless and inappropriate in the presence of juveniles. I don't use the word 'hyperbole' because it would be necessary only in an explanation for someone who doesn't get it. Better, I think, to let him or her enjoy bewilderment.
Ron Niquette is famous worldwide among those of us who share the name Niquette. The man has a gift for hyperbole. His writing makes that of Dave Barry resemble a potato crop report in The Idaho Statesman.
For an incidental entry, the author of 101 Words I Don't Use spent hours groping for a hyperbolic way to represent extreme astonishment, eventually coming up with what was thought then to be a sprightly word picture...
"Three times I have experienced facial paroxysms, my eyebrows uncontrollably seeking refuge in my forelocks."Not long after -- by pure coincidence! -- a letter on an unrelated subject arrived from Ron Niquette, embedded within which was a criminal attack upon the same literary need...
Will it ever be necessary to explain that
this sentence is hyperbole? I think the hell not.
Origin: 1520s, from Latin hyperbole, Greek hyperbole "exaggeration, extravagance," related to hyperballein "to throw over or beyond," from hyper- "beyond" + bole "a throwing, a casting, the stroke of a missile, bolt, beam," from bol-, nominative. stem of ballein "to throw" (see ballistics). Rhetorical sense is found in Aristotle and Isocrates.