Hyperbole: The Best Thing Ever
What is a Hyperbole?
Hyperbole is used primarily to confer more emphasis on a statement. Examples of hyperbolic statements are:
He is as huge as an elephant.
John runs faster than the speed of light.
Her new car cost more than the world.
There are many examples of hyperbolic English idioms. In all cases, the expression is only to bolster a fact, belief, observation or any other idea conveyed in a sentence.
Where and When to Use Hyperbole
Hyperbole is a figurative language – much like similes and metaphors. As a matter of fact, hyperbolic phrases are incorporated in metaphors and similes. Using hyperbole appropriately can make your writing more interesting and effective in conveying your thoughts. Let's look at the following example:
The man's terror screams were deafening to outside residents.
The whole estate and neighboring cities could hear the man's deafening terror screams.
The two sentences point to the fact that the man shouted in such an uncontrolled manner that it alarmed other people. But there is hyperbole in the second sentence that places much emphasis on how disturbing and far-reaching the man's screams were.
Beware the Hyperbolic "Literally"
Avid readers and writers are familiar with the word literally. The figurative use of the word is used to buttress an already hyperbolic statement. Here's an example:
The city's major highways are wedged solid with literally waist killing gridlock.
The statement is just telling how serious the city's gridlock is. The use of the word literally is usually accepted, but you may consider not using it regularly as it's not appealing to many readers who may find it annoying. Besides, you can drop "literally" without compromising the hyperbolic expression: The city's major highways are wedged solid with waist killing gridlock.