I’ll thank you for not pointing out the irony of my title. And it is probably ruining your life as well. Yes, I know that hyperbole isn’t meant to be taken literally. But today’s communication is filled with superlatives and gross exaggerations. It has become the standard popular expression. How many times do we proclaim things to be “Awesome” each day? How about those tacos on the menu that the waiter professed as “Phenomenal”? They’re just fucking tacos. At a pub. Pub fucking tacos. The greatest and most significant tacos in the history of humans.
Need more examples? Take a look at your Facebook feed. You will find hyperbole in most posts. Friends will write that they are going to freeze their asses off, or that they have just had the best day EVER!! Pay close attention to the conversations that you have with friends and those on TV. When you start to identify the amazingly incredible and unbelievable frequency of hyperbole, you’ll have a reaction that is your own and no one should be telling you what it will be before you have it.
Okay, I’ll grant to you that exaggerations can add spice to what could have been humdrum descriptions. That is one of the values of hyperbole. But how much cayenne pepper do you really want on your eggs? Instead of using a varied vocabulary to accurately describe events and feelings, many people have gravitated towards Orwellian Newspeak: minimized language for minimal thinking and an emotionally numb response.
And now we come to my selfish reason for writing this. A numb response to hyperbole is not my experience. Being empathic in the way that I experience it means that I feel words. When words don’t match with my perceived reality it feels to me like nails on a chalkboard sounds to those that recoil at the thought of it. Not exaggerating.
I beseech you, dear reader; seek truth and find appropriate words to describe it. Friends and family will be impressed with your intelligence. You’ll gain credibility with coworkers and employers. Empaths will trust you. I’ll buy you some tacos. I know a place where they are phenomenal.