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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Hyperbole in English
Subtitle: A Corpus-based Study of Exaggeration
Written By: Claudia Claridge

Non-literal language is ubiquitous in everyday life, and while hyperbole is
a major part of this, it has so far remained relatively unexplored. This
volume provides the first investigation of hyperbole in English, drawing on
data from genres such as spoken conversation, TV, newspapers, and literary
works from Chaucer to Monty Python. Combining quantitative and qualitative
analyses, it uses approaches from semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis
and classical rhetoric, to investigate in detail both speaker-centered and
emotive aspects of hyperbole, and also addressee-related aspects, such as
interpretation and interactional uptake. Illustrated with a range of
diachronic case studies, hyperbole is also shown to be a main means of
linguistic creativity, and an important contributor to language change. The
book concludes with an exploration of the role of hyperbole in political
speaking, humour, and literature. Original and in-depth, it will be
invaluable to all those working on meaning, discourse, and historical

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Historical Linguistics
Ling & Literature
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521766354
ISBN-13: 9780521766357
Prices: U.K. £ 60.00
U.S. $ 99.00