H is for Hyberbole – #AtoZChallenge

Who doesn’t love a good hyperbole while reading?  A couple of days ago, I was reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, Ph.D., LMSW.  In one of her TED Talks, she said, “You can’t swing a cat without hitting a narcissist.”  Do you know that Brene received emails reproaching her for animal abuse?!  I was almost in tears as I was reading her book!  Clearly, some audience members did not recognize hyperbole.

Some other great examples of hyperbole in literature are:

From Gabriel Garcia Marquez, taken from Living to Tell the Tale: “At that time Bogota was a remote, lugubrious city where an insomniac rain had been falling since the beginning of the 16th century.”

From Carl Sandburg‘s poem, The People, Yes: “It’s a slow burg — I spent a couple of weeks there one day.”

From the movie, Annie Hall: “Honey, there’s a spider in your bathroom the size of a Buick.”

Clearly, using hyperbole takes a certain type of character, or the right type of situation/scene in order to pull it off effectively.  However, if done correctly, your readers will have a rollicking good time with your story.

How have you used hyperbole in your writing?

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Rochelle Written by:

Writer. Dreamer. Lover of Life. Photographer.
I bring all of these elements to my work and share it with you.
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    • April 12, 2017

      I’m sure you’ve used hyperbole just a wee bit. Sarcasm can be stretched to become hyperbole. In your novel,Being Human, there were a number of instances where the vampire (who shall not be named) and his brother have great moments where sarcasm (maybe a bit of hyperbole) stepped in.

  1. Can’t wrap my head around that, “swing a cat without hitting a narcissist?” I know a narcissist is someone who admires himself and is infatuated with his own good looks, so I’m not sure what swinging a cat has to do with hitting someone who is in love with himself? Yes, hyperbole is familiar other than that… like we’ll joke that everything is green in Haiku where I live, even under our arms – because plants are growing there. Maui Jungalow

    • April 13, 2017

      Hi Courtney, ‘swinging a cat’ refers to cat-o-nine tails, a whip with 9 tails that was used for corporal punishment in the Naval Army. The cat-o-nine-tails, shortened to the ‘cat’, needed room so it was used on the upper deck, or main deck. Because, below deck there wasn’t enough room to swing a cat. So, in the example, can’t swing a cat w/o hitting a narcissist would mean that they are everywhere. 🙂

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