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Exaggeration

  • Ah seen a man so ugly till they spread a sheet over his head at night so sleep could slip up on him.

  • It's not the end of the world.

  • Huldy was one o' them that has the gift, so that ef you jist give 'em the leastest sprig of anything they make a great bush out of it right away ...

  • Valentine's tiresome sister has lost her job. And created over this as if she had lost her hair, her teeth, her legs, her good name, and her latchkey.

  • Everything is 'colossalized' — events, fortunes, accidents, climate, conversation, ambitions — everything is in the extreme ... They can't even have a tram run off a line, which in England or France might kill one or two people, without its making a holocaust of half a street full. ... The thing which surprises me is they should still employ animals of normal size; one would expect to see elephants and mammoths drawing the hansoms and carts!

  • Exaggeration is the cheapest form of humor.

  • Americans specially love superlatives. The phrases 'biggest in the world,' 'finest in the world,' are on all lips.

  • ... I know exaggerators of both kinds: people whose lies are only picturesque adjectives, and people whose picturesque adjectives are only lies.

  • Is the scraping off of a barnacle the destruction of a ship?

  • When I was little, my father used to sell guns and ammo at a sporting goods store, but I always told everyone he was an arms dealer, because it sounded more exciting.

  • Magnifying a matter is not the way to mend it.

  • ... no one had experiences any more, only traumas.

  • [On Alice Keppel:] To hear Alice talk about her escape from France, one would have thought that she had swum the Channel with her maid between her teeth.

    • Margaret Greville,
    • 1939, in Jilly Cooper and Tom Hartman, eds., Violets and Vinegar ()
  • I'm often accused of 'going too far,' but I recognize that behind my desire to shock is an even stronger desire to evade the 'feminine' stereotype: 'You say women are afraid of mice? I'll show you! I'll eat the mouse!'

    • Anne Beatts,
    • in Regina Barreca, ed., The Penguin Book of Women's Humor ()
  • ... the large black slugs ... come out at dusk. Enormous slugs. As big as crocodiles. So huge we need a gun to shoot them. And by the end of the summer, if they go on growing, we shall have to go out in pairs together for protection.

  • [When asked why she never insured her valuable left arm with Lloyds of London:] The answer is simple. They wanted an arm and a leg.

  • ... her own excited feelings had magnified it in length, and breadth, and height — had made a molehill into a mountain ...

  • Probably one of the reasons why gushing is so unattractive is that it leaves nothing for the listener to do.

  • Some folks never exaggerate — they just remember big.