To Turn a Phrase


Hyperbole is embedded so deeply in everyday language, we can’t possibly extricate it.

No one ever wants to see what it looks like when skin crawls. It’s a phrase with a meaning beyond the norm when you say, “My skin is crawling.”

Sort of like when you say you can feel it in your bones. It only means you can feel it deeply. Bones don’t feel much, really, do they?

Will you go to pieces over this?

Have you ever turned a phrase?

When you take time, where do you put it?

What do you think when you see standing water?

Have you ever been so happy you were beside yourself?

And love—don’t even get me started on love. Love has arms, love bites, love will take you there, love is the enemy, love is life, love stinks, love rescued me, love can break down the walls inside, and love came shining through. There is nothing love cannot do. Love has all the attributes of everything imaginable. Love takes on anthropomorphism with the care of a construction worker with a brand new bulldozer and a tank full of gas. Love blooms in the metaphorical metaphysical like all the daisies ever seeded. But don’t treat love wrong. Be kind, because love is blind. Don’t be rude, dude.

A rude dude could kiss someone with his fist, shoot the bull, raise hell, and drink like a fish. If anyone in their right mind stopped to ponder the literal meaning of any one of these phrases one by one, or even most of the meaningless things we say, they might find how little is real.

Which brings to mind a question: If you embellish an exaggeration, do you end with a layman’s workday?

It could be worse. My cousin’s friend went too far with a story, started embellishing every detail, and she ended up in a different galaxy. She took it too far. You see?

Do you see what I’m saying?

What could happen if we threw in the towel and decided not to talk at all? What if we decided not to write the trite and overused meaningless words? The phrases would still be in our minds—and in our hearts. That’s not all in our hearts. I have whole people in my heart. Trust me when I tell you it’s where they belong.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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