Thoughts of an American Centrist

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Pronunciation: hI-'p&r-b&-(")lE
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, from Greek hyperbolE excess, hyperbole, hyperbola, from hyperballein to exceed, from hyper- + ballein to throw
a. extravagant exaggeration (as "mile-high ice-cream cones")
b. The most overused word in the blogosphere today

What's the deal with the word "hyperbole?" A couple of months ago, it seemed that we'd read this word maybe once a fortnight in the hyper-articulate editorial of the major newspapers. Today, it's everyone's favorite, "look, I can use big words too" expression. Yes, it is a nice piece of vocab, but man, is it overused. Today, I pledge not to use the word "hyperbole" in any of my posts until the end of the month! Instead, I shall use the following synonyms "caricature, coloring, elaboration, embellishment, embroidering, exaggeration, magnification, overstatement, padding, stretching amplification, enhancement; fabrication, misrepresentation; fudging, hedging, straw-man."


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