With HYPERBOLES, don't believe everything you hear or read. This descriptive writing technique means using outrageous exaggeration to drive home a point or entertain readers. The more absurd HYPERBOLES are, the more likely they are to draw a laugh - or at the very least, an eye roll or grin. Stay tuned for four examples plus a quote from the ultimate example of HYBERBOLE. (P.S. This image is a very big, or should I say very tall, hint!!)
This book has ten million pages! Do I have to finish it by tomorrow?
I'll be completely gray by the time you finish eating. (That sentence isn't quite the exaggeration it would have been prior to the COVID-19 quarantine.)
That spider was bigger than a cat! It had longer fangs, too!
The music was so loud, it blasted eardrums all the way from Connecticut to the Canadian border.
For the ultimate example of HYPERBOLE in writing, look no further than the enduring Tall Tales about Paul Bunyan and his blue ox named Babe. This quote hails from a 9/23/16 NY Times article (In an Era of Hyperbole, Paul Bunyan is as Tall as Ever) by Dan Barry:
"Bunyan existed in a world so cold that spoken words froze in the air. He was at least six ax handles tall, and spoke with such force that limbs fell from trees when he called his men to dinner. He once sneezed so hard from a pinch of snuff that he cleared all the timber for 11 miles. And he was so thorough a logger that he turned the Dakotas into prairies."
I hope this post encouraged you to give HYBERBOLE a chance in your own writing! I'll be back next Sunday with a brand new Spoonful of Grammar.
Sincerely and best wishes for your continued health and safety,
Laura Fineberg Cooper