Hyperbole (pronounced /ha??p??b?li/ hye-PER-buh-lee; “HYE-per-bowl” is a common mispronunciation) comes from ancient Greek “????????” (meaning excess or exaggeration) and is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is rarely meant to be taken literally. (from Wikipedia)
Hyperbole seems to be a bit rampant in the media lately. Here’s a couple of headlines that have been getting my goat:
Which suggests that something terrible has happened during a single homebirth and four people died. Which isn’t true. The Joyous Birth advocate is still alive, unfortunately she lost her baby during a ‘freebirth’. The article is actually more about freebirth (ie without a midwife) than it is about homebirth, but of course no distinction is made between the two. The four dead are four babies, all of whom allegedly died during homebirths (or free births) but of course no extra information as to where this statistic came from is available. It suggests that women wanting homebirths are refugees from the hospital system, and that if only obs took some responsibility, we’d all go along to hospital like the good little sheep we are. Fortunately the Australian College of Midwives got a gurnsey too, and call for more one-on-one care with the same midwife in public hospitals to give all women better birth outcomes. More on NSW hospital services for pregnant women here.
Kid’s dying wishes denied (Courier Mail, which actually links to a headline saying that the Starlight Foundation is being forced to cut back on their wishes granted because of the financial crisis). Dying children aren’t being denied, since 7 out of 10 children that the Starlight Foundation help will live with their disability for life. Some of them will have to wait a bit longer though. If this headline helps get more donations to the Starlight Foundation, then that’s fantastic but I suspect it was more about having an attention grabbing headline.
So, what’s getting your goat today? An open thread for the airing of grievances.