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I Literally Died...and Other Overused Hyperboles

I Literally Died...and Other Overused Hyperboles

By Melissa Albert

Since you're reading this right now, we assume you live in a world where stuff like Internet access and enough free time to look at slideshows about barfing cats are a given. So why do most of us talk as if we exist in a hellscape of eternal dissatisfaction and dreams of death? Though such talk has probably been in use since the dawn of man, cavemen actually meant it when they said, "I have to kill and eat this mammoth right now, or I will literally die." We'd call for these ridiculous overstatements to be struck from general use, if only we didn't say them constantly ourselves:

I'm starving. Inaccurately describing an emotion that falls midway between hunger and boredom. Might also come into use when coveting the visible cheese fries of a friend who won't take a hint.

He's a total stalker. Generally applied to any member of the opposite sex who you find unattractive, but who nevertheless dares to look at and/or talk to you.

I wanted to die. The inciting event of the embarrassment that's made you wish for death can range from being caught staring at someone you like (who has probably just deemed you a stalker) to sitting on a Boston cream pie while wearing white pants.

I've been waiting for a million years. Otherwise known as, "You kept me waiting for ten minutes, with my butt covered in Boston cream."

I look disgusting. This can be loosely translated to, "I'm wearing a shirt I dislike." Alternate translation: "I know I actually look awesome, but I want to hear you say it."

I want to kill her. But all she did was finish your iced coffee! And she's your sister!

I'm going to sleep for a hundred years. Are you a character in a melodrama, or is this just your response to a long soccer practice?

I totally love you! Thanks, but all we did was find your purple pen.

Topics: Life

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About the Author
Melissa Albert

Melissa Albert reads books, worries about other people’s dogs (they look thirsty), and eats horrible candy for fun and profit. When not wearing her extremely tasteful Sparkitor hat, she’s an editor for the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. You can find her on Twitter @mimi_albert, or in the hot pretzel section of your local cafeteria.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.