Have you ever noticed that people don’t always say what they mean? Slang is the perfect example of this. So is exaggeration. For example, what about moaning to your friend ‘I totally failed!’?
What you want to say is “I tried as hard as I could, but some of the questions were really difficult. I don’t think I got more than a sixty!”
But be honest here, which one sounds more impressive? Which one is most likely to get you sympathy, or even attention? In busy 21st century where almost no one says what they mean, phrases and exaggerations are the way to go for getting attention and support.
Both are needed, of course. The reason we have friends isn’t so that we can do things on our own. If we treat our friends right, they will be there for us.
But where are the real problems? What could be so bad about modern communication?
Have you ever found yourself in the following situation? You’re trying to tell a friend something- it will probably fall under one of three categories
a) You just need to vent, to tell someone so that you don’t explode
b) You’re concerned about something/someone and you want to know what’s going on
c) Something interesting/funny happened, and you want to share the experience.
But you see that the person you’re talking to isn’t listening. So you exaggerate. “My brother drives me crazy! He convinced my mother to make me do his chores because he’s got a project due soon,” can quickly become the beginnings of, “My brother’s so lazy. That project was assigned a month ago, but now it’s everyone’s problem! I hate him! This is the tenth time he’s done this!” And if your friend was to tune in at this point and ask “Really, the tenth one? That’s not fair!” Or, “A month ago? My brother is in his class, no? Isn’t this the history project that was assigned last week?”
You’d be left to stammer out some defense. True, it was assigned early last week, but still, he didn’t start it until last night. And maybe it’s not the tenth one, but it definitely feels like it sometimes.
Still, nu, couldn’t you say that? Maybe you’d just have to wait a little until your friend was feeling more sympathetic, or worse, you calmed down in the meantime and didn’t have to vent anyway! We as a generation have gotten used to blurting whatever comes to our brains, without stopping to think ‘Should I say this? Here? Now?’ I’m equally guilty of it- why do you think I’m making such a fuss?
The real issue is that it can border on sheker, telling lies. If you’re used to telling your friend- Oh, it was so hard, when it was easy, how long does it take before we start to subconsciously realizing that words don’t mean very much, and telling our mothers ‘Just give me a minuet, I’m almost finished,’ as we desperately try to start the homework we’ve been ignoring for a half hour? Or making something up to impress someone on the spur of the moment, and paying for it later?
And besides, wouldn’t it be nice to have a sentence that doesn’t used the word “,like,” (which, by the way is totally different than “like”) in it for a change?