Archive for the ‘Hyperbole’ Category

The literalist on Fathers Day

June 9, 2016

Fathers Day comes on the 19th. For the occasion, a Tom Toro cartoon that didn’t get into my earlier posting about him:

Well, there can be literally only one greatest dad in the world, but then not all language is literal — as in this case, where the sentiment on the mug is a piece of hyperbole, exaggeration for effect.

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Hyperbolic metaphors

October 9, 2013

Frank Bruni in an op-ed column in the NYT yesterday, “Nazis, Lynching and Obamacare”, beginning:

You might think that the methodical extermination of millions of Jews by a brutal regime intent on world domination would resist appropriation as an all-purpose metaphor. You might think that genocide, of all things, would be safe from conversion into sloppy simile.

You’d be wrong.

Bruni catalogues an assortment of ravingly hyperbolic similes in recent times, mostly (but not entirely) associated with the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Comparisons to: Nazis and the Holocaust, lynch mobs, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, slavery, and hostage taking.

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X of death, killer X

July 30, 2011

I wrote, a propos of a postcard of a young man with an extraordinarily developed musculature, that he had “abs [abdominal muscles] of death”, and then thought of the template X of death, with the postmodifier of death conveying ‘overwhelming, magnificent’, much like the premodifier killer in expressions like killer abs — both of them hyperbolically metaphorical allusions to the effects of X on people.

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