I wrote the following and then thought to myself, "Look at me ... I'm ranting like an old man." So, if you want a good chuckle, read the following while imagining these words are being read by 60 Minutes Correspondent Andy Rooney.
I'm growing tired of the use, or rather, the OVER-use hyperbole in everyday life.
I suppose the straw that broke the camel's back was a red carpet interview I watched Angelina Jolie give regarding her new movie. In that interview, she was asked a question about Robert De Niro and passingly called him "brilliant." Brilliant? Really. I wonder what is his IQ ...
Words like "brilliant," or "genius," are thrown around too often if you ask me. Such words should be reserved for the few precious souls who are truly such. Or you could tune into Sean Hannity's or Rush Limbaugh's radio shows & find out what it is the Democrats are doing right now to be "complete morons" or "idiotic." Too many songs, movies, or TV shows are referred to as "awesome" or "amazing." Are they? Really? Too many rising athletes are called "incredible talents," "athletic freaks," or "phenoms." I'm sure that those athletes are good at what they do, but do they exhibit the "once-in-a-lifetime" kind of athleticism to warrant such elaborate language? We have too many discussions about how the latest athletic achievement is the greatest of all-time. Only one athlete or feat can be the greatest -- they can't all be. And don't get me started on the kinds of events upon which we slap the word "miracle."
While we are at it, can we limit the amount of times we can use modifying adverbs such as "very" or "really." "That was a very, very good blog entry." Or, "I really enjoyed that blog entry." They have a salary cap in professional sports. Couldn't we have a vocabulary cap in everyday life?
I'm not sure what motivates people toward exaggeration. Have you ever been around a group of people talking about that one time they got REALLY sick? Or the worst storm they've ever witnessed? Or the loudest sports stadium they've ever attended? Ever noticed how each person feels a strong urge to top the story told before him or her? What is it about our humanity that makes us embellish?
I hope that I'm not raining on anyone's parade. I get excited about things, too. And sometimes, the English language doesn't adequately service to the point of painting a good enough picture to describe my level of excitement. And so I'm tempted to exaggerate. Nevertheless, the over-use of hyperbole, to me, betrays a sense of ignorance. I just wish that we would all choose our words more carefully. And when we speak, I wish that we would speak with a greater sense of perspective.
And that's my diatribe of the week.
3 weeks ago