Wednesday 25 January 2023

Grammar: Hyperbole 10


Exaggeration does not help your argument but weakens it. 

Open the news pages today and you’ll struggle to find a policy that isn’t a flagship policy, a ruling that isn’t a landmark ruling, a speech that isn’t a landmark speech, a criticism that isn’t damning, a negotiation that isn’t frantic, a blow that isn’t devastating, a large company that isn’t a giant or a majority that isn’t vast. (Andy Bodie, Guardian, 2014)

The excess of apparel and the superfluity of unnecessary foreign wares thereto belonging now of late years is grown by sufferance to such an extremity that the manifest decay of the whole realm generally is like to follow. (Law of Elizabeth I, 1574)

Ministers took to the pulpit to warn that wearing crinolines was akin to renouncing Christianity.

The Monkees – a new nadir in Western Civilisation. (Evelyn Waugh)

Library closures are “violent and vile” says Edmund de Waal.

Schools are killing curiosity. (Guardian, 2020)

Meghan has kicked us in the teeth – and disrespected the Queen! Meghan single handedly tried to bring down the British monarchy. 

Science isn’t perfect, therefore it’s promoting lies.

Is having a baby in 2021 pure environmental vandalism? (

My teacher said that cartridge pens were for heathens. (@honeythewitch)

Prostitution is bad because it’s defining people by their genitals.

Tory Councillor Colin Davie is against renewable energy because it will “affect tourism”.

If we only let people play exactly who they are, it’ll be the death of imagination. (Andrew Garfield)

There is no joy in anything any more.
 (Commenter on the John Lewis ad that features black people.)

Fun Fact: Tweeting just once, on any given subject, counts as overreacting and going on and on. (@dimwittedly)

Christmas could be ruined by mince pie shortage. (

The day that refugees are not welcome in Britain is the day we lose our soul. (@serliamholman)

The writer of a book debunking historical myths “hates his country”.

The Olympics has been Disneyfied! (Translation: Skateboarding is now an Olympic sport.)

Any MP voting for vaccine passports is an enemy of our civilisation. (Neil Oliver)

Modern architecture is a deliberate attack on our spirit.

Our obsession with performance is changing our sense of self. (

Mob rule has infiltrated all of Scotland. (Translation: A crowd stopped officials taking away two men for deportation, May 2021.)

The prime minister can't be expected to live in a skip. (Sarah Vine on the renovations at No. 11)

The Guardian is full of nothing but lies. (Translation: The Guardian has issued some corrections and retractions recently.)

They’re bringing back Section 28! (Suella Braverman points out that it is illegal not to provide single-sex toilets in schools, 2022.)

People who say “Happy Holidays” are trying to erase Christmas.

A friend says “They’re trying to kill the language!” because he can’t switch Word’s spellcheck to UK English.

When you said we should be kind to children, naturally I assumed you meant that we should mollycoddle them and give in to their every whim!

If Disney isn’t stopped from imposing a ‘woke ideology’ it will destroy the country. (Florida governor Ron DeSantis, headline)

Loved ones who express concerns or doubts are accused of “denying the existence of trans people”. (

Prejudiced parents think this trans person shouldn’t exist! (Translation: Parents don’t want this trans person in their female children’s changing room.)

JK Rowling has conducted a hate campaign against trans people for years. (She tweeted: Dress  however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who'll have you. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?)

I’ve been in A&E with my daughter since 5.45 am. Finally got a prescription at 9.00. She’s not got anything serious but we’ve now had to wait over 25 minutes to get the medicine from hospital pharmacy. The NHS is not on brink of collapse, it is collapsing. (@MannGeorgia)

Had to cancel a hospital appointment because of work. The next one available is five and a half months hence. This country is collapsing. (@Seanchuckle)

The ubiquity of body art is born out of an existential crisis of humanity in the post religious world. (Melanie Phillips, paraphrase by Times sub) 

Kevin Daly on Twitter posts the Golden Girls script pages that show the trio were not improvising the herring scene. @Gary_Mylazycat responds: “Why do you hate fun?” (And @KevinGe48316476 asks: Who cares if people want to think this?)  

"Where’s the hope from the government?” asks Conservative MP Steve Baker, about new rules telling people to wear masks. “Where are we going as a society and as a civilisation? Where will be our redemption and our salvation? How will we provide that hope for our future?"

When you disagree even in the mildest of terms with people younger than a certain age, or of a certain ideological persuasion (read: woke), they fully believe you are invalidating their entire existence. (@GabeBlessing)

We have to rid ourselves of our obsession for highly processed foods. (Great British Christmas Menu. Perhaps he means “taste for” or “addiction to”?)

Anything claimed to be a “uniquely 21st century phenomenon” probably has its roots in the Roman Empire. And anything that “never happened before social media” happened before social media.

Watching Labour MPs queue up to condemn the free expression of opinion, to shut down debate, and to treat their former leader as an outcast and "enemy of the people" is truly sinister. It is actual Stalinism. (@peterde_de)

A coerced responsibility is not a responsibility, it is a burden. A coerced duty is slavery. (Vaccine passports again.)

A memorial service for a cathedral cat? The Church of England has adopted pantheism! (Doorkins Magnificat was official rodent operative at Southwark Cathedral for several years.)

Most coups begin by capturing the airports, seizing control of the TV studios, suspending democracy and arresting opposition leaders. Not by asking people to wash their hands and refrain from coughing on strangers in the Co-op. (@RussInCheshire)

Due to the pandemic, the Last Night of the Proms was instrumental. This became “The BBC are dropping patriotic songs!

A study claiming that the results of recycling plastic had been disappointing becomes: “Recycling is useless and just virtue-signalling! I told you so!”

All the folk going to beauty spots and "wild camping" and leaving all of their litter, in a lot of cases just deserting their tents, make me particularly despairing for the human race. (Via FB)

I taught my ‘bubble’ about names of groups of animals yesterday! None of them could name a group of geese! Nor the sound a donkey makes! Why don’t children read anymore? (Michelle Garner)

Queen Victoria once said “We are not amused,” therefore nobody made a joke or laughed for the entire Victorian era. 

There is 'compulsory homosexuality' in Ireland, suggests Polish right-wing weekly @DoRzeczy_pl, which also warns that 'Marxist-lesbianism is well on its way to becoming a state ideology' in Ireland’.

How the iphone rewrote the teenage brain ( headline on story claiming that teens now prefer Fortnite and Instagram to drink, smoking and drugs.)


The classic is "There are no grand pianos in Japan".

Everyone’s autistic now!
The Guardian says all men are bad.
Pedantry is always regressive. (Laurie Penny)
Nobody under 50 bothers voting these days. (@jrhopkin)

What is millennial culture? There’s no writing. None of them read books. (Bret Easton Ellis)

To look back is to be spiritually dead! (In the early 70s, a movement arose to perform early music – medieval, Renaissance, Baroque – in the original, “authentic” style, as far as it could be determined. This really upset some people. The above objection is from a TV discussion.)

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