Hyperbole: deliberate exaggeration of a person, thing, quality, event to emphasize a point external to the object of exaggeration; intentional exaggeration for rhetorical effect.


"The Pharisees, therefore, said among themselves, 'Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing; behold the world has gone after him."

-- John 12:19 (KJV)

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"So first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address

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"You know, there's a lot of debate going around, 'Who had the best team -- the ones in the '60s or in the one in '92?' I don't know who had the best team, but I know the team in 1960 was a hell of a lot tougher than we were. Because I couldn't imagine the '92 team getting into covered wagons for 8 days, going across the country, jumping in the Atlantic Ocean, swimming for 6 days, then walking 3000 miles to the Coliseum in Rome -- for a dollar a day. Thank you."

Larry Byrd -- Remarks at the 2010 Naismith Hall of Fame 1992 "Dream Team" Induction

"The chamber is celebrating an important milestone this week: your 70th anniversary. I remember the day you started."

-- Ronald Reagan

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"My senior year, I received a telephone call from a gentleman by the name of Mr. Gil Brandt of the Dallas Cowboys. And he stated that the Cowboys was interested in drafting me, and I couldn't ignore it. I decided to attend the Cowboys training camp. That year, 1967, the Dallas Cowboys had 137 rookies in training camp. Gil Brandt was signing everybody that could walk. Only five made the team that year, and I was one of the five."

-- Larry Rayfield Wright, Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Address

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"And there went great multitudes with him. And he turned and said unto them, 'If any man come to me and hate not his father and mother and wife and children and brethren and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.'"

-- Luke 14:26 (KJV)

Note: Can you spot the polysyndeton?

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"Henry was 18 when we met and I was queen of France. He came down from the north to Paris with a mind like Aristotle's and a form like mortal sin. We shattered the commandments on the spot."

-- delivered by Katherine Hepburn (from the movie The Lion in Winter)

Note: Also an instance of simile

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"The only place where democracy comes before work is in the dictionary."

-- Ralph Nader, 2000 NAACP Address

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"Why you got scars and knots on your head from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. And every one of those scars is evidence against the American white man."

-- Malcolm X

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"Please sit down because having produced nine million award shows, I know Mr. Gowdy [ph], the producer's up there saying 'Hurry, say thanks fast.'"

- Dick Clark, Daytime Emmy Award Acceptance Address


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American Rhetoric.
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