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Quotations about Exaggeration

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.  —ღ Terri, March 2021

Some folks never exaggerate — they just remember big. ~Author Unknown

An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper. ~Khalil Gibran

Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught. ~Author Unknown

If you add to the truth, you subtract from it. ~The Talmud

Exaggeration is merely a flight of poetic fancy. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

Exaggeration is to paint a snake and add legs. ~Proverb

There are people so addicted to exaggeration that they actually can't tell the truth without lying. ~Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818–1885), quoted in H. Montague, Wit and Wisdom of Josh Billings, 1913

Man is inclined to exaggerate almost everything — except his own mistakes. ~Author Unknown

To exaggerate is to weaken. ~Jean François de La Harpe, Melanie, 1770

Exaggeration is a blood relation to falsehood, and nearly as blamable. ~Hosea Ballou (1771–1852), quoted in Day's Collacon, 1884

By speaking, by thinking, we undertake to clarify things, and that forces us to exacerbate them, dislocate them, schematize them. Every concept is in itself an exaggeration. ~Jose Ortega y Gasset

All news is an exaggeration of life. ~Daniel Schorr

All passions exaggerate; and they are passions only because they do exaggerate. ~Nicolas Chamfort

There is no one who does not exaggerate. In conversation, men are encumbered with personality, and talk too much. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

False eloquence is exaggeration; true eloquence is emphasis. ~William Alger

Never exaggerate your faults, your friends will attend to that. ~Bob Edwards

The child trained in exaggeration generally graduates into an adult liar. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor

'Tis a rule of manners to avoid exaggeration. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Exaggeration misleads the credulous and offends the perceptive. ~Eliza Cook

There's no disappointment in memory, and one's exaggerations are always on the good side. ~George Eliot

Stop telling such outlandish tales.
Stop turning minnows into whales.
~Dr. Seuss, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, 1937

It is impossible to exaggerate trifles without belitting great things. ~Charles Searle, Look Here!, 1885

What makes us discontented with our condition is the absurdly exaggerated idea we have of the happiness of others. ~French Proverb

We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are. ~Honore de Balzac

Some so speak in exaggerations and superlatives, that we need to make a large discount from their statements, before we can come at their real meaning. ~Tryon Edwards, The World's Laconics, 1853

We overstate the ills of life, and take
Imagination... down our earth to rake...
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Alcohol is perfectly consistent in its effects upon man. Drunkenness is merely an exaggeration. A foolish man drunk becomes maudlin; a bloody man, vicious; a coarse man, vulgar. ~Willa Sibert Cather

Sometimes in life we blow things out of proportion because proportion is so dull. ~Robert Brault,

Every vice is only an exaggeration of a necessary and virtuous function. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Exaggeration is in the course of things. Nature sends no creature, no man into the world, without adding a small excess of his proper quality. Given the planet, it is still necessary to add the impulse; so, to every creature nature added a little violence of direction in its proper path, a shove to put it on its way; in every instance, a slight generosity, a drop too much. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

All cartoon characters and fables must be exaggeration, caricatures. It is the very nature of fantasy and fable. ~Walt Disney

To a small man every greater is an exaggeration. ~Henry David Thoreau

It is human to exaggerate the merits of the dead... ~Mark Twain, 1896

Exaggeration, the inseparable companion of greatness. ~Voltaire

We aim above the mark, to hit the mark. Every act hath some falsehood of exaggeration in it. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

How many may a man of diffusive conversation count among his acquaintances, whose lives have been signalized by numberless escapes; who never cross the river but in a storm, or take a journey into the country without more adventures than befel the knights-errant of ancient times in pathless forests or enchanted castles! How many must he know, to whom portents and prodigies are of daily occurrence; and for whom nature is hourly working wonders invisible to every other eye, only to supply them with subjects of conversation? ~Samuel Johnson

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