Saturday, 16 July 2011

Hyperbole: absolutely the worst thing in the history of the human race

“Dan’s coming over later. Said he’d bring beer.”
“You heard about Cath, I take it.”
“No. What about her?”
“She’s won six and half million on the lottery.”

See the problem there? The ante for reacting to any piece of good news, no matter how mundane, has been upped so high that we’ve run out of ways to react to events that are truly out of the ordinary.

The same applies to not-so-good news too, with every minor setback now a “total catastrophe.”

My Twitter timeline has been peppered with people saying how “very sad” they feel about the death of the actress Googie Withers, despite presumably knowing she’d been living in comfortable retirement in Australia, made it to the ripe old age of 94 and has had her life and career remembered with glowing obits in all the papers today.

So how would these people have reacted if a 44-year-old actress had died? That would be “absolutely tragic beyond words”, I expect. But then where is there left to go when you learn of the murder of a child?

(If you happen to think this post is the direst dross you’ve ever read in your entire life, then I am so terribly, terribly sorry I could curl up and die. Possibly.)

No comments: