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Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Hyperbole-Itis

As a lifelong music lover, I fully appreciate the enthusiasm anyone brings to their passion for the most ancient of the arts. Indeed, that enthusiasm and the attendant thirst for knowledge are among the things motivating folks who take my music classes.  

That said, there is one DJ on the Sirius station called Little Steven's Underground Garage, whose hyperbolic descriptions of every single song have more than once had me reaching to change stations as he gushes. I appreciate his enthusiasm, honest. But I do question how every single song can be "brilliant" or "groundbreaking" or, a "masterpiece". If every artist featured is "critically important" or "seminal" or, most breathlessly, "a genius", where is the middle? Without more attention to the words used and offering some middle ground, masterpiece, genius, etc. can fast become meaningless words. 

This DJ has clear musical bona fides - a fact he mentions frequently - and appears to know his stuff, or at least he has a good research team who feed him solid, usually pertinent information. What he seems to lack is the willingness to uncover more meaningful and precise descriptive words. When nearly every song is "amazing", almost all the performing artists are "unforgettable", either the solo, lyric, production, or the cowbell (!) are "unbelievable", I don't fully "believe" his gushing, I can easily "forget" the song he is extolling to the heavens, and the thing that "amazes" me most is his hyperbole-itis. Can this DJ be cured? Because I believe I just made up the name of his condition, there probably is no cure, yet. Unless, he stumbles across this crabby rant - pretty sure he'll recognize himself in this post - and then decides to work on his over-heated language a bit. If that happens, I'll look forward to listening to him without grabbing the dial as often and I'll more enjoy our shared passion for music.         

6 comments:

  1. I agree with you, Pat. I think of this often when reading or listening to reviews and comments. Not only of music, but also I read/watch reviews of audio equipment (mainly headphones) and often have the same criticism there. Not every facet can be amazing, etc. Just as not everything and everybody can be “iconic”. Ugh.

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    1. Anonymous; Thanks for the support. And though I haven't (yet) heard this hyperbolic DJ use "iconic", I won't be at all surprised if he does. Another over-used, over heated, over-the-top superlative that surely doesn't apply about 99% of the time.

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  2. Praise be! Glad to hear another person is as annoyed as I get when hearing over the top comments or reviews. A restaurant can't just be good; must be "fantastic" or "amazing." For me, this sets the bar too high which likely explains my state of constant disappointment be it a restaurant, movie, comedian, musician, or even a simple recipe. "These hard-boiled eggs are amazing! Check out this recipe!." Likely our appreciation of precise word choice in all things contributes to our sensitivity to hyperbole-itis. At least this is my amazing, once-in-a-lifetime observation!

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    1. Lori; Nice to see a comment from you again, especially since the last time you appeared in bell-curve land it was an occasion when I'd stepped on my tongue, a lifelong bad habit of mine, I'm afraid. And, I love your sign-off - it simply couldn't be better!

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  3. Hello, Pat. I hope this finds you all doing well. I have to agree with what you are saying about the LSUG DJ. I have a fairly good idea who you are referring to. And although I do agree, I also agree that a lack of a proper descriptive vocabulary is also part of the problem. I have to add that, although a fan of another DJ's work on the air - including their knowledge, enthusiasm, and their wanting to be very informative, the 'other one' I am referring to, who works primary on Classic Vinyl, Classic Rewind and Deep Tracks, has a tendency to talk so much that I have changed the station before they start the set they're talking so much about.
    Be well,
    Bob

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    1. "Anonymous" Bob; Thanks for the comment and the affirmation. I'm not 100% sure of the identity of the other DJ you're referring to but I know at least one that sometimes rambles on WAY too much. I will say, however, I prefer the rambler vs. the guy with hyperbole-itis. At least the rambler I'm thinking of has a more varied descriptive vocabulary.

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