HYPERBOLE and UNDERSTATEMENT

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Hyperbole is a lexical stylistic device in which emphasis is achieved through deliberate exaggeration, or an overstatement. Hyperbole is usually not intended to be taken literally. Hyperbole is one...

Hyperbole is a lexical stylistic device in which emphasis is achieved through deliberate exaggeration, or an overstatement. Hyperbole is usually not intended to be taken literally.

Hyperbole is one of the common expressive means of our everyday speech (e.g. “I have told it to you a thousand times” or “I could sleep for a year”). Due to long and repeated use hyperboles have lost their originality. Hyperbole can be expressed by all notional parts of speech.

It is important that both communicants should clearly perceive that the exaggeration serves not to denote actual quality or quantity but signals the emotional background of the utterance. If this reciprocal understanding is absent, hyperbole turns into a mere lie.

Hyperbole is aimed at exaggerating quantity or quality. When it is directed the opposite way, when the size, shape, dimensions, characteristic features of the object are not overrated, but intentionally underrated, we deal with understatement.

 

Understatement is a phrase that minimizes the content of the message, using restrained or weak phrases. It is often used for rhetorical effects, and the tone is often ironic or sarcastic (e.g. one may say “it is a little warm outside”, when actually the temperature is well over 40 degrees Celsius).

English is well known for its preference for understatement in everyday speech. “I am rather annoyed” instead of “I’m infuriated’, “The wind is rather strong” instead of “There’s a gale blowing outside” are typical of British polite speech, but are less characteristic of American English.

 

To fix the material better, please watch this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAt36-EqHIE

After that pass a small quiz and write your result in comments. Good luck =)

http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/dDDk7X4/Hyperbole-or-Understatement


Thank you!!!

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If there are some problems with the links, please let me know.
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I liked the picture with "throw beyond" ;)
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everything is understandable, colorful. I was attracted to pictures. Especially the example with picture: " I'm so hungry I could eat a horse!" because I use all time in my speech: I'm so hungry I could eat a elephant or baby elephant.=)))
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Thanx! "Baby elephant" sounds funny))) you meant "an elephant calf" maybe?)
Yes, you're right. We don't even notice how use a lot of SDs and EMs every day.
P.S. Have you passed a quiz?)
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You are right, I meant 'an elephant calf'. This is my periphrasis 'baby elephant'.))) Result of quiz: 90 percent (9 out of 10 correct)
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