Exaggeration. I think we’re all guilty of it.
I’m not totally against exaggeration. In fact, I’m quite an exaggerating person. My friends can testify. 😉
But since I don’ t want all those embarrassing stories to come out I don’ t think we’ ll ask them to.
I can think of several good reasons to exaggerate. (Well, more or less good ones, depending on your personal tastes and opinions. ;P) First off, it’s humorous. I don’t know about you, but reading exaggeration often makes me laugh. Well-written exaggeration can sometimes bring up the most hilarious scenarios in your mind. I like to laugh, and exaggeration is often something that I can laugh at.
Two, it’s emphatic. Emphasis is important. I’m a very emphatic person
so maybe I’ m biased. Emphasis makes your stand clear and can be very useful. 😉
But as useful (or enjoyable) as exaggeration is, it does hold some danger. Think about this for a minute…
…if everything is “soaking wet,” what will we say when things are so wet they’re dripping water?
…if every time it’s hot we “boil,” what are we going to say when the temperature rises by ten degrees?
…if everything makes us “laugh our heads off”, what is going to happen when something is so funny we laugh ourselves speechless?
…if everything is “the most adorable thing ever,” what will we say when we see something heart-melting?
…if everything makes us “literally,” do something, how will we convey that we actually did literally do something?
If every time something happens we “die”…
then why are we still alive?
Exaggeration is all very well in its place, but if we constantly use it, then it loses its flavour and weakens our words.
What if instead, we said…
… that the towel we just used was “wet,” and that when we went running in the rain we were “soaking wet”?
… that last week was “hot” and that this week it’s “boiling” in Pennsylvania?
… that the meme we just saw was “really funny,” and that our father just made a joke that made us “laugh our heads off”?
… that the puppy was “super cute,” and that our little sister’s baby smile is “the most adorable thing ever?”
…that we “virtually hit the roof” and that our mother “literally cried with joy” at her surprise birthday party?
And let’s not “die” of emotion.
If we save exaggeration for the times when we really want to express ourselves strongly, it will be much more effective.
… Just some thoughts that I had recently. What do you think?