Ordinary language is all right.
One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.
Deflect the blame for invidious comparisons onto the words used to make them.
Even 'sometimes' may be often enough, for the aphorist.
Sometimes, you need only begin, 'Even the greatest…'.
Superlatives are diminished most by the most occasional exceptions.
Remark parenthetically on what everyone knows.
Stand off to the side.
Make them go back.
Some salads are green. I mean, like, really green.