Simon Heffer on exaggeration

If you care about language you might like this: Simon Heffer on the dangers of exaggerated language.

If somebody is devastated because his football team has lost a match, how does he feel when he gets home and finds his wife and children have been killed in a fire? If a woman is brave because of her reaction to the way in which her philandering husband embarrasses her publicly, how are we to describe her if she endures with courage and fortitude a horrible and potentially fatal illness? How can the ordeal of one experience compare with that of the other?

2 thoughts on “Simon Heffer on exaggeration

  1. Heather says:

    I have a particular issue when papers use the word “tragic” to describe people who got into their own mess. As in, “Tragic Sarah, 18 year old mother of five, hit back at George Osborne’s budget cuts.”

  2. Gary says:

    It’s so common it’s hardly worth mentioning, unfortunately. I think Heffer’s right, it devalues the term.

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