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Wednesday, October 05, 2005


In fear of prolonging what Jim West calls the Sheffield wars, my heart told me it was only right to respond to Rafael on the issue of over-exaggeration. Here's what soft Rafael says:

I tire of people using the phrase 'over-exaggeration', and especially the implication that precisely over-exaggeration is bad. 'Oh sure', you might say, 'exaggerate all you want; we all do that. But whoa . . . you better not over-exaggerate! That's just wrong!'

Now I'm no pedant so he's what I think. No, better, here's what someone else thinks. Didn't someone important once say something like don't look at what is said but how it is said or something bright like that? In other words precise analysis of the variety Rafael endorses is missing the point. Look at how 'over-exaggeration' is used. It's an everyday rhetorical technique which does not in practice most of the time mean exaggeration is bad enough but don't go exaggerating. I wouldn't want to accuse Rafael of removing the language of the people and imposing his preferred use from upon high but...

Normally I ignore personal rants but seeing as ths was Rafael's and seeing as he has tried to bully a poor defenceless type like me then it was only fair.


Blogger Jim said...

Noooooo.... Don't stop because of me. I am, as I said, rather enjoying it. ;-)

October 05, 2005

Anonymous steph said...

Pedants are dull. Neologising is appropriate for a living language and changing world - and that's no over-exaggeration.... Pinocchio. Celebrate creativity, language is an exciting tool - and be happy, Pinocchio.

October 06, 2005


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