Hyperbole


(h-pûrb-l)
Noun. (plural: hyperboles)

1. What is hyperbole? u=84642631,2233461303&fm=0&gp=0.jpg
(1). Definition
n A figure of speech consisting in exaggerated or extravagant statement, used to express a strong feeling or produce a strong impression, and not intended to be understood literally.
— The Oxford English Dictionary
n Hyperbole: extravagant exaggeration that represents something as much greater or less, better or worse, or more intense than it really is or that depicts impossible as actual.
— Webster’s New World Dictionary
So to say, “I laughed so much I nearly died” is an example of hyperbole. It denotes that something was very funny and that someone laughed a lot, but it is extremely unlikely that someone laughed so much that they almost died. However, the phrase gives us a sense of just how funny something was.
Hyperbole is very common in both everyday speech and in written English. In written English, it tends to be used within informal settings or for literary effect. It is not, for example, regarded as good practice to use hyperbole within business English; it could be regarded as unprofessional.
(2). Synonyms
caricature, coloring, elaboration, embellishment, embroidering, embroidery, exaggeration, magnification, overstatement, padding, stretching
(3). Antonyms
Understatement



2. Usage Examples
Common forms
1. Use Numeral to Exaggerate BooksWeighTon.jpg
l Her heart was breaking into a million pieces.
l It’s a thousand pities that you can’t come to have dinner with us.
l On Sundays I have a thousand and one things to do.
l Mary’s two sons are different in their personalities in a thousand and one ways.
l “May I ask the cause?”
“I don’t want dozens of people who are not at all worthy of Ladybird, to come here for that purpose?”
“Do dozes come for that purpose?”
“Hundreds.” Said Miss Pross.
( A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens )



2. Use Verb to ExaggerateThe Prime Minister made a powerful speech which brought the house down.
Fred almost talked my ears off last night about his son’s exploits in the army.
You can cry your eyes out all day, but you’ll get no sympathy from me.



3. Use Noun to Exaggerate
It’s a crime to stay inside on such a beautiful day.
We have a sea of trouble.
n Description of heavy rain
In the middle of the picnic, it started to rain cats and dogs, and everybody got soaked.
n Description of coldness
"I am annoyed, I’m freezing,” Alie’s snapped. “I’ve got goose bumps the size of orange.”
n Description of hotness
Heat! It was so dreadful here that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.



4. Use Adjective to Exaggerate
I was sick of my soul.
Most Americans remember Mark Twain as the father of Huck Finn’s idyllic cruise through eternal boyhood and Tom Sawyer’s endless summer of freedom and adventure.



5. Use Subjunctive Mood, Comparative Degree and Superlative Degree to ExaggerateA knife could have cut the tension during the seemingly endless trip back to the plantation. (Alex Haley: Roots)
n Description of fatness
…and the fattest woman I have ever seen in my life dozing in a straight-backed chair. It was as if a sack of grain was supported by a matchbox.
Noise proves nothing: often a hen who has merely laid an egg crackles as if she had laid an asteroid.



6. More Examples
1. They ran like greased lightning.
2. He's got tons of money.
3. Her brain is the size of a pea.
4. He is older than the hills.
5. I'm so hungry I could eat a goose with its beak!
6. I have told you a million times not to lie!
7. You snore louder than a freight train.
8. I have seen this river so wide it had only one bank.
9. She is older than the hills.
10. That joke is so old, the last time I heard it I was riding on a dinosaur.




A Hyperbole Poem


Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me
That with music loud and long
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
by - Samuel Taylor Coleridge.




3. References
http://vocabulary-vocabulary.com/dictionary/hyperbole.php
http://www.grammartips.net/hyperbole-in-english-writing
http://volweb.utk.edu/school/bedford/harrisms/hyperbole.htm
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/hyperbole-examples.html




4. External link
http://www.types-of-poetry.org.uk/68-hyperbole.htm
http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/figures-hyperbole.htm
http://cyrusliu.blog.163.com/blog/static/71353871201111565224690/
http://wenku.baidu.com/search?fr=bk&word=hyperbole&lm=0&od=0
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-hyperbole.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbole

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