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Style Chapter 12: Hyperbole
vandanagoyal wrote in visionindia2047
Hyperbole, an expression so exaggerated that it could not possibly be taken literally,lends itself beautifully to dramatic.You can get away with making ludicrous overstatements.

For example,'The blast was so loud it could be heard five kilometers away' is not exaggerated enough and could be true.
But 'The blast was so loud it could be heard on Mars', is undoubtedly a hyperbole.
Most  writers are guilty of exaggeration but honest writers would not leave readers in any doubt that they are exaggerating. Hyperbole is also an ironical exaggeration. Referring to aging Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan's god like status with the masses, Ajay Goyal says, "In a thousand years from now when Hindu mythology decides it is time to make next round of celestial appointments, he (Bachchan) will be the top candidate and still acting."
Like everything else, hyperbole should be used selectively, judiciously and in moderation. It loses its effect when reader thinks you get worked up about everything.The parts to emphasize should be identified and then hyperbole used to highlight the thrust of the argument. 
Avoid hyperbole when the writing is already emotionally charged, otherwise it will make the writer appear too bitter, sarcastic, sentimental and generally not worthy of being taken seriously.
Hyperbole is  best used to create humor. With a bit of imagination, it can be used to create very vibrant images and to drive the point home when commenting on something or someone.Like:
I circumnavigated the world in the time it took her to finish her make-up.

Better still is this excerpt from article , Taste of India ,by Vir Sanghvi at

The Gujaratis are as agitated about Hindu non-vegetarians as they are about Muslims or Christians. (And no doubt, if they came across a non-vegetarian Gujarati like myself, they would probably club me to death with rolled-up share certificates.)
Brilliant hyperbole. It creates humor and a powerful image which stays with you long after you have read the article.

©2008 VisionIndia2047


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