He flew at the speed of light or the speed of sound.

  • It's a literal measure, not a literary device. Sorry.
    – Robusto
    Apr 2, 2019 at 22:56
  • Thank you. I think this is the answer I'm looking for. I would call it a literal measure if I stated, "He drove at the speed of mom."
    – D.na
    Apr 2, 2019 at 23:21
  • It's not a literary device until you use it in a literary way. "He flew at the speed of light or the speed of sound" could be a legitimate question on a test, and not a literary one.
    – Robusto
    Apr 2, 2019 at 23:48
  • Are you able to explain what is happening when I use it with the phrase, 'speed of mom'?
    – D.na
    Apr 4, 2019 at 1:52
  • I think "the speed of mom" is idiosyncratic, but probably an attempt at humor—though whatever that joke might be would depend heavily on context and shared information.
    – Robusto
    Apr 4, 2019 at 2:24

1 Answer 1


No one can actually fly (under normal conditions) at the speed of sound, let alone at the speed of light, so the sentence contains a hyperbole or exaggeration.

Here are some more examples.

  • 1
    I’m pretty sure pilots who’ve broken the sound barrier and exceeded Mach 1 speeds would disagree that no one can fly at the speed of sound, unless you’re referring only to self-propulsion (in which case no one, at least no one human, can fly at any speed at all). Apr 2, 2019 at 23:44

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