Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for X-aggerate

This month I'm participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The theme I'm going with this year is writing humor. Follow along to learn more about the different ways to make your fiction, articles or blog posts humorous. 

X could have been a bit of a tricky letter for a post. 

Like how I solved that problem? 

Ok. So, exaggeration.  What does that have to do with writing humor? Why it has absolutely everything to do with it (and, yes, that was an exaggeration....or was it?)

But, really, exaggeration is like a turbo-charged, heavy duty, shiny, fully automated hammer in a writer's toolbox. 

Wow. Now THAT'S a hammer.

Now it's only right to include quotes from The Best Exaggerator of our Time, Dave Barry. 

"If your hostess subscribes to Martha Stewart Living, the guest bed may be so massively fortified with decorative objects that it can be deconstructed for sleeping use only by a licensed interior designer."

"It's time for my annual tax-advice column, which always draws an enthusiastic response from grateful readers.
"Dear Dave, " goes a typical letter. "Last year, following your advice, I was able to receive a large tax refund simply by claiming a $43,000 business deduction for 'paste.' I am currently chained to a wall in federal prison, but they tell me that, with good behavior, in 25 years they'll remove the skull screws. Thanks a lot!"

"I also don't know why a woman would be ticked off if you gave her a 56-piece socket-wrench set with a 72-tooth reversible ratchet, but thrilled if you give her a tiny, very expensive vial of liquid with a name like ''L'essence de Nooquie Eau de Parfum de Cologne de Toilette de Bidet,'' which, to the naked male nostril, does not smell any better than a stick of Juicy Fruit."

"Many bat species are endangered because of humans, some of whom view bats as actual food. A researcher named Tom Kunz told me that in parts of Southeast Asia, bat soup and fried bat are considered tasty treats. In Guam, people have eaten pretty much all the bats. There's a bat shortage! You could become a bat rancher and get rich! Although you would need skilled bat wranglers."

:(speaking about Halloween) It has been commercialized to the point where our young people think it's just ''fun and games.'' They know nothing about the somber origin of this holiday, which dates back to 1621, when the Pilgrims, having survived a difficult first winter in America, decided to express their thanks by dressing up in comical outfits with knickers and hats shaped like traffic cones and then went around playing pranks with what turned out -- tragically -- to be their last remaining roll of toilet paper, and thus as you can imagine their second winter was no picnic either."

Do you use exaggeration when writing humor? Or just when you're talking about how many dished you washed or papers you filed at work when you've been surfing the internet for turbo-charged, heavy duty, shiny, fully automated hammers instead?

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  1. Exaggeration is a great way to add humor. Fun examples.

  2. Those were some excellent examples. Takes a bit of crafting to make them work that well.

  3. Great Xaggerations. I particularly like the Halloween one, though it's less an exaggeration than downright made up!! Just in case anyone reading doesn't know, Halloween started here in Ireland, we used to say 'help the Halloween party' at doors, and the only place we got sweets(candy) on my road was at the American Consul's residence! Everyone else gave fruit or nuts, or very occasionally a bun(cupcake). The 'trick' part of trick-or-treat is American, though, or so I believe.