I’m just going to come right out and say it: I love hyperbole. I love its name and the way it sounds. Although Patty says she thinks of it as hyper-bull, if pronounced phonetically, hyper-bowl, it sounds like it should be a football event, like the Sugar Bowl or the Rose Bowl, for people suffering from ADD. But said correctly, hyperbole sounds cheery and a little bit Italian. Like you should click your fingers when you say it.
I enjoy people who pepper their everyday language with hyperbole, like a friend at work who could never go to lunch because she always had a million e-mails to catch up on. Or another friend who described his neighbor as being twenty feet tall. And then there was the referee of the World Cup Uruguay vs Italy game who was obviously blind.
If figures of speech were arranged into a pyramid of cheerleaders, Hyperbole would be the one on the top that looked the cutest and had to perform death-defying leaps and jumps to get there. If figurative language had a wedding, Hyperbole would be the beautiful bride, with Metaphor and Simile as bridesmaids. The invitation for Literal (the natural enemy of Hyperbole) would get lost in the mail. Analogy would be the wedding guest everyone avoided because he drank too much and hit on the bridesmaids. The heavy-handed Rhetoric would be guarding the door, and Euphemism would be responsible for keeping everyone in line.
So since Patty and are I are the biggest fans ever of hyperbole, it’s the most natural thing in the world that Val and Kit are, too. In our latest Val and Kit mystery, set in California and not yet titled, Kit, especially, can’t stop herself.
“He’s so old.” Kit groaned.
“And British. That’s a British accent, right?”
“But British; don’t you think he sounds—”
“He’s older than Methuselah—”
“Okay. He’s getting on a bit. But quick, before he comes back, tell me how you found him.”
And the best part is that I never worry about using hyperbole incorrectly. Patty can whip any narrative into shape faster than a speeding bullet.