Exaggeration is a powerful tool when used correctly. When making a point a little exaggeration can get your point across with a touch of humor and can really make the point memorable.
Some exaggerations I’ll never forget:
“Sorry I’m late, I was stuck behind someone at the ATM who was balancing the national debt.” – spoken by my brother John, some years ago.
My father to me a month or two before I finished 8th grade – “Pick some electives that’ll mean something to colleges, not basket weaving and pothole digging cause it’s an easy a.”
“Jesus, this asshole’s driving right up my ass…” – spoken almost daily by either my wife or myself. That’s how we roll this close to Boston.
I have a healthy appreciation for exaggeration. I enjoy them, as I do the English language in general. However, the attention that I unconsciously pay to things like exaggerations doesn’t stop there… It’s present at all times, so I pick up things like exaggerations even when people don’t really realize they’re using them.
I don’t know why it bothers me, and honestly, I kinda wish it didn’t… Perhaps it’s some kind of psychological problem my pain-in-the-ass mind interprets the unconscious use as a disregard for something I enjoy, or something like that… Who knows. I’m a pain in the ass. It is what it is. I can’ explain it. Fortunately, this is my blog, so I don’t have to. 😉
Anyway, there’s a commercial for stamps.com where some guy says “There’s nothing worse than going to the post office and waiting in line!” …C’mon. I can think of SKILLIONS of things that are worse than that. How about going to the post office and and accidentally mailing yourself somewhere inconvenient. That’d suck, right? I’d rather stand in line.
Another one is when someone says “I could care less.” …soooo… You mean you care then?
“The LAST thing you want is to…” sorta goes along with the first example.
Double negatives used to bother me a lot, but I have worked on it… English is one of the only languages that doesn’t allow double negatives like “I aint got none.” Technically in English, that means you got some.
So what bugs you about the misuse of the English (or any other) language?