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Exaggeration image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
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One of the commpn vices in ordinary conversation, as well as in written speech, is the habit of making a recklessly exag-gerated statement of f acts or circumstances. lts afflliation wifh ooarse and cheap humor has fiven it a curreney among us beyond its deserta - if any merit it really luis. TheTe is so much tobe said a}aiïist il asá etale device of provincial buffoonery or coarse wagjjery - while there is so littlc to recommend it, except perhaps in the hand of genius like Habelais - oiie is inclined to wonder that it has not long vanished uttci-ly. at the least from all well-bivd intcivourse. Firstly, to practice it, without specific design or is a vehicle for humor, usually betrays a frivolous disposition, an irregular imagination or a slovenly inattentlon to important details. Next, it indicates au almost reckless disregard of moral aceuraey and a carelessncss of the effect of language upon another; which, to say the least, are by no means respectful to one's auditor. Again, although it may not even sugjpest the notion of a willful perversión of actual fact or nny intent harmfilly to deceive another, yet it insensibly begets, whes accustomed to hear this sort of talk, a habit in hearers of but little attention to such a speakeres statements. It dissociates all seriousness from what he may say, and finally they regard him as a common laugher, whose speech does not deserve ordinary notiee. Moreover it produces :i bewildering effect upon the general listener, which is quite incompatible either with a serious interest in, or a care to remember, what is is thus said: and in the end is likely to cheat the speaker of more than half hifi due. because of his common discredit as a narra tor or reporter. Perhaps it is Bometimes not inexcusable in an earnest advocate or a real humorist, whose n-putation for good sense is unclouded, who seeks to produce an imniediate effect and is not supposed to be Ilrfited ly an obligation to speak with impartía! aceuraey. Nerertheless its habitual ose tends, in most cases, to destroy the eapability for judicial Lmpartia'ity, svhere such a faculty exi.its - precisely h a contrary habit of conscientious aceuraey of statement usual ly runs with fairness of judgmeiit. Whei: Uufus Choate, who habitually reveled in hyperbole, was asked to ae-?ept a judicial office, he deelined emphatically, sayin? truthfully: ','Jt would destroy my powers of neration


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier