Hello everyone, I’m Hamidreza Ahmadi with Lingophoenix. We, human beings, have a million different ways to talk about our feelings and emotions, and one of these many ways is Hyperbole. Well, what is hyperbole? I guess some of you already know, and some might not have the faintest idea. However, hyperbole is common of any language
Take a look at these situations. You and your friend were supposed to meet at the cinema at 8 o’clock. It’s 8:20 and STILL they haven’t arrived. You get mad. You call your friend and say, I’ve been waiting here for you all by myself for ages. Are you coming or what? Your friend, who now knows that you are a bit disconcerted, tries to calm you down by saying that they’ll be there in a jiffy. But you, your friend, and now I know that this is far from true. First of all, it’s not ages just 20 minutes; second, there is no way that your friend will be there in a second. Hyperbole is involved here. While you used hyperbole to show how mad you were, your friend used it to compose you
Hyperbole can be used for plenty of reasons, in commercials for instance. The ad begins with a really attractive woman rubbing lotion on her hands, with the voiceover saying “If you want your skin softer than silk, buy our products” – of course, a lot more implicitly, but I’m sure you get the idea. The Tesla Automobile Manufacturing Company might claim that their cars are light-years ahead of their rivals’. But really? Light year?
Hyperbole is an excellent literary device that has its effects on our romantic lives as well. To win the hearts of our sweethearts we usually use hyperbole. People don’t just say “I love you, honey” anymore; now it’s ‘love you to the moon and back’, or ‘I love you more than Earth and Heavens combined’. Some people even take stronger measures to show how much they love one another by saying I love you so much I can kill for you, and lots of other things that you are better aware of. I also have a lame one, it says, when you walk into a room it is as if it is filled with roses.
When you’re very hungry, you won’t hesitate to say stuff like I’m absolutely starving, or stuff like I’m so hungry I can eat a horse. When your mother cooks a lot and you know it’s too much, you can say ‘my mom has cooked enough to feed an army.’ When we want to say how intellectually deprived someone is we can say ‘one’s brain is the size of a pea’. When someone can run really quickly, we can say ‘they run like the wind’. Another hyperbolic statement I hear all the time is snowed under as in ‘Jamal is snowed under a lot of work this weekend’.
You can also use hyperbole to talk about someone’s appearance like when you say, he’s as skinny as a toothpick, the man is taller than a house, or my sister puts so much make up on, she is 50 kilograms more when she is done.
The examples to find for hyperbole are countless, and to be honest, the more creative you are, the better hyperbolic innovations you can come up with. Sarcasm and hyperbole can work really well together. Take this for example, you’re late for a party and your partner is taking so much time to get ready. You look at their faces and calmly say, “take your time, we got the whole day”.
Hyperbole is a literary device. In other words, we can find many examples for it in Literature. An American poet, W. H. Auden writes:
I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street.
Joseph Conrad, another writer, in his “Heart of Darkness” writes, “I had to stay in the station for ten days – an eternity.”
Your time is worth a billion dollars, and I would like to thank you an ocean for listening to me.
I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.
She’s as old as the hills.
I walked a million miles to get here.
She can hear a pin drop a mile away.
I died of embarrassment.
He’s as skinny as a toothpick.
She’s as tall as a beanpole.
It’s raining cats and dogs.
His brain’s the size of a pea.
New York is the city that never sleeps.
I have a ton of papers to grade.
That runner’s faster than the speed of lightning.
My parents are going to kill me when they find out.
That was the easiest quiz in the world.
I’m dying of starvation, when’s dinner?
That documentary went on forever.
Our car cost us an arm and a leg.
It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.
She was so mad she was spitting bullets.
She’s so sweet you could get a cavity from talking to her.
I was so ashamed, the earth swallowed me up.
I’m so excited, I could die!
I’ve told you a million times, pick up your dirty socks.
She knocked it out of the park with that speech.
He has the memory of an elephant.
He’s high as a kite.
That book is a real doorstopper.
It took forever to find you.
I had to walk to the ends of the Earth to find it!
I can’t live without you.
I’m thirsty as a camel.
I got my math test back and it was dipped in blood.
I love you to the moon and back.
She walks as slow as a turtle.
It’s a jungle out there.
I haven’t seen them in ages.
I thought that lecture would never end.
It’s been raining for 40 days and 40 nights.
She eats like a bird.
That turkey could feed an army!
He runs like the wind!
It’s the worst day of my entire life!
I’ve seen that movie a thousand times.
This booze-free town is dry as a desert.
We’re never gonna get there!
I’m drowning in work.
He talks a mile a minute.
I’m so tired I could sleep for a million years.
It’s all fake news!
The whole world is going to hell in a handbasket.