Wednesday, April 25, 2012

U is for Understatement

So... an understatement is a figure of speech in which the writer or speaker plays down the importance or the facts of a situation.

Back in my college days I went through a bohemian phase (during the age of Lacoste polos) and arrived at my french class,  at Amherst college, wearing a beret and a mini-dress.  My friend, Holden, remarked, "I can see you're not in a preppy mood today."

Now-a-days, my understating self is more inclined to use this figure of speech when I get home from shopping, and after unloading bag after bag of groceries, say to my husband, "I needed to pick up a few things from the store."

In Laura Croft Tomb Raider, Laura's house has just been shot up by the bad guys and as they are cleaning things up she gets a delivery.  In response to the delivery man's questioning look she responds, "I woke up this morning and I just hated everything."  To him, that would have seemed like a huge understatement.

I do love understatement.  But sometimes I like over the top!

How about you?

9 comments: said...

Yes, I like both understatements and over-the-top. The latter tends to be more fun. Don't you think?

Be well, Cheryl.

Robyn Campbell said...

Yep. You and me. We both love understatement. How many times have I said that. The groceries. He kinda just stares at me, stares at the bags and walks off. *wink*

Cheryl Klarich said...

Hi Robyn!! Of course you love over- the- top!!
That's one of the things I love about you!

Robyn C.... so glad you can relate...
Can't wait to hear about the upcoming wedding in your family. Understated or....???

Maria I. Morgan said...

Never gave it much thought, but I suppose I tend to be the understatement type.

*I've tagged you over at Life Lessons to answer some fun 'getting to know you' questions. Don't worry about it if you're unable to participate! Have a blessed day, my friend!

Gina said...

I think understatements are an art form, just like sarcasm. Those are my favorite two forms of speech and I enjoy 'battling' with someone witty that will make my brain work. I'd wish I could paint a character that is witty and relatable, those are not exclusive one from the other but if you over do it, people won't enjoy chatting with you. ;)

Nice post!
From Diary of a Writer in Progress

Tara Tyler said...

one of my fave ways to joke =)
fun u day!

Cheryl Klarich said...

Hi Maria! I would love to participate! Thank you so much. With understatement you can get a point across without being loud... which is brilliant. :)

Gina, I'm with you- "witty and relatable" a great combination!!

Tara, you must love British humor, then!!
Thanks for stopping by. :)

Karen Lange said...

I like them both, and as a writer, it's fun to play with them, don't you think?

Have a great weekend!

Sam Klarich said...

Understatements are fantastic, for they have a certain quality that make a situation humorous. Your Laura Croft example is a perfect illustration of this! How can one not laugh, or at least smirk, when she brushes off the damage to her home with such a simple comment?
As for over the tops? Love 'em, too. Unquestionably.