April 8th, 2011 at 08:53am
By now, no doubt, you’ve come across this in the media. Julia Gillard pronouncing “hyperbole” as “hyperbowl”.
As George Negus points out in that clip, hyperbole is “A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect”. Well, to use a Kevin Rudd phrase-of-choice, let me say this, Julia Gillard’s mispronunciation was a deliberate bit of hyperbole, an exaggeration designed to gain the attention of the media and distract them, however briefly, from the many ongoing problems with her government, while at the same time attempting to increase the public’s sympathy for her by making it look like the media is picking on her.
From a media front, it’s working. As for the public, I’d like to think that most Australians are smarter than that.