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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Or maybe not, but it annoys the heck out of me. This thread was inspired by a post stating that AAC+ is “light years” ahead of MP3. What does that mean? Well, for me it means I should ignore the post (and probably its author).

When someone says, “the difference is night and day,” does that mean they think the two items being compared are opposites? Maybe one can use the phrase to describe a mirror canon. I’ll go so far as to accept it when comparing a Morton Feldman work to The Rite of Spring. But 99.9999999% of the time it simply indicates the writer’s lack of a sense of proportion.

n.b As far as I can recall, I have used hyperbole in a post once. But I noted the fact. And in that one instance, it was subjectively true for me.
 

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I really like your thread title, it's the best title ever written in the history of the written language. Bravo!

I understand your frustration. And hear and read hyperbolic statements often. I don't know whether people are using these exaggerations for effect, because they are lazy writers, or because they lack a sense of proportion (as you say). It's important to be precise when you write and speak, and I call out my students nearly every day for this kind of imprecise language.

Some examples I hear:
A student walks into a room before class begins and there are three of us in the room, and the student exclaims, "there's no one here!". I reply, "what? Am I and the others no one? Are we nobody?"

Someone complains, "they're always getting the weather wrong." Well not exactly, the three-day forecast is about 90% accurate, and the two-week forecast is about 50% accurate. It's not always wrong, just sometimes.

Another teacher will say, "that kid doesn't know anything.". Again, I'm sure he knows something. What should be stated is that the student couldn't do that test. Parenthetically, it really irks me when teachers (in the staff room in my department) call particular students dim or stupid, when I know because I attend school music concerts, that some of these students are particularly talented in other areas: music, writing, art, etc. (I'm not a music teacher)
 

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And in that one instance, it was subjectively true for me.
Well, if it was true for you....

Manxfeeder said:
I'm still trying to figure out what somebody meant when they said that Bruckner's 9th symphony was light years ahead of his 3rd symphony. Light years? Did Bruckner take the symphony to inifinity and beyond?
Especially considering a lightyear is a measure of distance... not time.
 

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I agree. Does the excessive and improper use of 'literally' count as hyperbole? It certainly bugs me, literally.

Hyperbole has its place in writing, but I much prefer understatement. As literary devices go, it's not too shabby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, if it was true for you....


Especially considering a lightyear is a measure of distance... not time.
I found my 2014 post (on another forum). I was referring to Songs for Swingin’ Lovers and A Swingin’ Affair.

I try to avoid hyperbole when I post here, but speaking only with respect to my own music listening experience, these two releases may be the most revelatory audiophile albums I own. My dad had all of the up-tempo Sinatra Capitol releases, as well as some of the Reprise releases, and I listened to them a lot growing up. As an adult, I bought a number of them on various media, but overall my interest waned, compared to Ella for instance. Now I understand why. I was hearing a poor Xerox copy of Sinatra at best. Listening to these two discs in particular (where every measure is ingrained in my deepest memories) I heard the richness, depth and complexity of his (excuse me - the) Voice.

A Proustian moment for me and more.

And by the way - does the Nelson Riddle orchestra sound great or what?
 

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I thought 'hyperbole' was a very large bowling alley - but then again I know nothing :unsure:
No, hyperbole is a cosmically large bowling alley.
You guys know nothing! Hyperbole is actually a hyperspace bowling alley.
Now all I need to do is figure out what hyperspace is, then book my ticket for the Nobel awards ceremony.
 

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Manxfeeder said:
I'm still trying to figure out what somebody meant when they said that Bruckner's 9th symphony was light years ahead of his 3rd symphony. Light years? Did Bruckner take the symphony to inifinity and beyond?
Especially considering a lightyear is a measure of distance... not time.
It would be as metaphorical if the person had misunderstood lightyear as a measure of time because the intended "distance" between these Bruckner symphonies is neither spatial nor temporal anyway. Usually language like "in another league", "miles ahead" is understood without problems when metaphorically applied to symphonies, even if they are not football teams or cyclists.
 

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People who use hyperbole should be tarred and feathered. Then made to hold a sign by a freeway off-ramp, reading "I used hyperbole."











Seriously though, "light years ahead" is a common expression in technical circles, when describing how much more advanced newer tech is than older.
 

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I often threaten to bring the "very wrath of God Himself" down upon people...

this, despite the fact that right now, I would give you a hundred - no, make that a thousand - bucks cash -if you could tell me where I left the fecking keys to my car...
 

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Hyperbole is not a sin, it is a flourish of the impassioned. It is born of emotion, and emotions are good because they reveal passion and true conviction. Those who want to approach every topic with a detached, nuanced, dry and boring academic style do so because they are useless, Apollonian degenerates incapable of imparting any real influence on anything, their minds muddled with a thousand conflicted thoughts.
 
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