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The Forum > Article Comments > Death by hyperbole > Comments

Death by hyperbole : Comments

By Rolan Stein, published 14/1/2008

Hyperbole is hyperbole for a reason, and if you drain the power out through overuse, itís not hyperbole any more!

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Economics has become subject to such hyperbole that economic reporting is now even less valuable than it was a decade ago. Now just a 3% slump in the stockmarket is described as a "crash" or a "plunge". The oil industry (or, rather, the media's reporting of it), which I take an interest in, is worse. New oil/gas finds are consistently described as "massive", "huge", or whatever. We can all breath a sigh of relief in the knowledge that there will be no crisis! But the most recent find offshore of Brazil, that "may" contain as much as 8 billion barrels of oil (and is truly a biggie by discovery standards) can only supply the world for less than 4 months at current usage rates. It is the usage rates that are truly, incredibly, massively, enormously humongous - 1000 barrels a second or 30 billion barrels per year! It's all relative only the language the media uses has now ceased to reflect this.
Posted by michael_in_adelaide, Monday, 14 January 2008 9:43:38 AM
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A ground-breaking article conclusively demonstrating that the English language as we know it has been destroyed by the ceaseless torrent of hyperbole from all corners of the globe.
Posted by wizofaus, Monday, 14 January 2008 9:51:20 AM
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wizofaus: "A ground-breaking article conclusively demonstrating that the English language as we know it has been destroyed by the ceaseless torrent of hyperbole from all corners of the globe."

And beyond
Posted by FrankGol, Monday, 14 January 2008 9:57:23 AM
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Evangelicals are particularly given to journeying.

I went to a wedding reception, last year, at which one of the speakers nailed it with a particular intensity. He was describing how the newlywed couple had been traveling together -- you know, like, overseas, and stuff?

Some way into the impromptu homily, this faith community leader seemed suddenly to grasp the full spiritual-metaphorical value of his topic, and so he told us that 'a journey is, like, a journey.'

I hope I have represented his syntax accurately with the commas. It is a line that sustains infinite re-reading.
Posted by Tom Clark, Monday, 14 January 2008 10:41:23 AM
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I was rather pleased with myself to realize that I have avoided upsetting the masses by the over use of adjectives which describe objects "over the top"....much as your article has highlighted. (on my own website and blogs) I didn't pick up though on you mentioning how cars are seen as "sexy"! An object that has nothing to swing or attract by implying "here I am and I'm ready!"

In the same way, in recent years interviews of TV shows will express the opinion that the incumbent of their interviewing chair is seen as a "sex object" and coyly asks how the person feels about that label...

For heavens sake "sexy" first has to relate to people, and secondly it has to be relevant to looks and age....a fifty year old is not generally "sexy" but to ask how they feel about being labeled as such usually brings forth the required twitter of embarrassment.

As for that stupid expression "Cool"! She's cool!......No I'm not!
Posted by yourchoiceindying.com, Monday, 14 January 2008 11:34:04 AM
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I too am confused. The English language is more pulverized on blogs than in the media, which came first, chicken etc.

The economist is one of the worst with the journalist close behind.
When looking up terms these guys use you sometime wonder whether they have missed their vocation and should instead be writing fiction.

My father inlaw was a journalist and valued the english language as no other I have met. He must now be rolling in his grave.
I think it was in the seventy's that grammar and parsing of sentences were taken from school curriculum, slang in english accepted in creative writing.
I frequently find myself rereading too much to make sense of stuff written on blogs and papers written by academics, the latter being unable to express themselves well enough to communicate the knowledge they are "passionate" about. so disappointing.
I have a site,that I'm unable to find at this moment, where one journalist berates others of his own following for bad english, with examples, no less than four pages long!!
"the history of the english language" as shown on TV, wonderfully describes its devolution as a living language now has taken over the world, replacing to greater or lessor degree, Latin and French, although while including loads of words from their lexicon.
When trained as an engineer I well remember my boss admonishing me for incorrect spelling, now its the "rage"

fluff
Posted by fluff4, Monday, 14 January 2008 11:52:02 AM
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