Why emojis and excessive exaggeration are destroying language
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Following the introduction of emoji reactions on Facebook two months ago, is it time to rethink our modes of expression? As a rhetorical device, hyperbole is the friend of the poet. Is your ode lacking a certain pizzazz? Whack some exaggeration in there and your keen admirers will be overcome with a veritable flood of tears. Shoot up some opiates and they'll be calling you Keats in no time. That is acceptable exaggeration. So too is the outburst of expletives to convey your severe annoyance at stubbing your toe on the skirting board *shakes fist at the heavens* or the barrage of weeping at the death of a loved one. All permissible to be sure; exaggeration is a key component in human expression. But it's overzealous use in the modern era is nothing short of a crime against language that erodes the meanings of words and phrases to such a degree that they become near-obselete. When was the last time you used the word "awesome" correctly? If something is awesome then it (unsurprisingly) inspires awe: your tasty cup of coffee is not awesome. And when the time comes that you are, in fact, faced with something truly awesome, what will you say?
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