Wednesday, October 05, 2005

. . . and that's no over-exaggeration!

Welcome to my first-ever personal rant. Now, those of you familiar with my on-going debate with Prince Humperdinck will undoubtedly say, 'Surely not. Your whole blog is one long rant!' Perhaps. But this is my first personal rant.

I tire of people using the phrase 'over-exaggeration', and especially the implication that precisely over-exaggeration is bad. 'Oh sure', you might say, 'exaggerate all you want; we all do that. But whoa . . . you better not over-exaggerate! That's just wrong!' The Merriam-Webster website includes the element 'over' (as in 'overstate' and 'overemphasise') in its definition of 'exaggerate'. So does 'over-exaggerate' mean 'to over-overstate'? Now I know that www.m-w.com is hardly the canon of English usage that, say, the OED is, but that's precisely the point! If Merriam-Webster knows better, then so should we.

If the blogging community should so decide that over-exaggeration is a legitimate and identifiable phenomenon, then I will humbly submit to your collective wisdom. In that case, though, it must be said that I will continue in my earnest efforts to only ever under-exaggerate. And if you know what I mean, please e-mail and let me know.

[Note from Verily Verily's legal department: The above comments were in no way meant to disparage the Merriam-Webster dictionary, its website, or any of the intelligent women and men responsible for either. Indeed, it is the policy of Verily Verily's editorial board to consult m-w.com whenever a spelling or semantic issue arises, and we find their thesaurus to be useful, practical, helpful, functional, and so on. Actually, it is our suspicion that none of the staff would utter the abominable phrase in normal conversation, which makes them okay in my . . . we mean, in our book.]

3 comments:

wotsit2u said...

amusing to get pedantic over the 'over' when you put an apostrophe and an 'e' into 'your'....

very amusing blog but JAMES is right and you're wrong. No humperdinck about it.

steph

Rafael Rodriguez said...

Thank you for the correction; it has been duly noted and appended. [feeling sheepish . . .]

And James probably is right and I probably am wrong. He's still Prince Humperdinck (note the capital 'H', as it is a proper name).

steph said...

no, you're wrong ... maybe you are Prince Humperdinck?

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