Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Hyperbole: A Note
For a good sense of the highs and lows of American political discourse, you couldn't do better than to go to Frank Schaeffer's piece on the Obama speech over at the Huffington Post and read not only what he has to say but also the dozens of comments that follow. I'd been thinking about writing a piece about hyperbole myself--especially with regard to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Hyperbole, it seems to me, is a relatively harmless and entertaining way of putting passion into words--except when listeners and readers take it literally. Unfortunately, there are too many listeners and readers out there who take everything literally, from the words of the Bible to a thundering sermon from the pulpit, to a passionate speech on the political stump. We should teach more poetry in our schools!