Hyperbole

 

"Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, Then another thousand, then a second hundred, Then still another thousand, then a hundred"

Catullus

 

Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses an exaggerated or extravagant statement to create a strong emotional response. As a figure of speech it is not intended to be taken literally. Hyperbole is frequently used for humour. Examples of hyperbole are:

  • They ran like greased lightning.
  • He's got tons of money.
  • Her brain is the size of a pea.
  • He is older than the hills.
  • I will die if she asks me to dance.
  • She is as big as an elephant!
  • I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.
  • I have told you a million times not to lie!

The media and the advertising industry often use hyperbole (which may then be described as hype or media hype).