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I believe there is a term for words such as never, always, constantly, and so forth; words that generally exaggerate the situation being described. Unfortunately, I can't recall what that term is if I am correct in that there is indeed such a term. Can anyone help me with this question?

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What do you mean by "exaggerate"? Are you referring to hyperbole, in which case the words could be said to be hyperbolic, hyperbolical, or hyperbolism. –  Old Pro Apr 26 '12 at 6:27
    
These words are not necessarily indicative of exaggeration. The Q. is therefore ambiguous. Do you want a class name for these words? Do you want a name for words used for exaggeration? –  Kris Apr 26 '12 at 6:36
    
I believe that never, always, constantly are all temporal adverbs or perhaps I should say frequency adverbs. They are not used for exaggeration or hyperbole. However, you might say they are used for emphasis as they categorically state how often something happens. –  Eugene Seidel Apr 26 '12 at 7:03
    
    
False absolutism? Overemphasis? Overgeneralization? –  Alex Feinman Jul 16 '12 at 17:28
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4 Answers 4

I may be misunderstanding the answer you're after, but I have a friend who chastises me for making blanket generalizations whenever I use a word like never or always in a sentence. (He's a smart guy.) Is that the phrase you're looking for?

In this case generalization means to make general or broad statements (often impossibly broad). Sometimes people also call these blanket statements.

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maybe you are thinking of "hyperbole", an obvious exaggeration intended to create a strong impression.

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For a single word, consider extremes or absolutes. In some contexts, it may sound better to use the adjective form: extreme words, absolute terms, etc.

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I think absolutes is probably what is being looked for here and it is rare that absolutes are not exaggeration. –  neil Jan 29 '13 at 17:48
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I don't think any term other than 'time adverbs' is required to describe them, even if one exists.

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protected by RegDwigнt Jul 16 '12 at 19:11

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