Anyone reading this blog knows that I am fascinated by words; how they change meaning; where they come from; how they are transmitted and on we go. I am noticing some commentators getting sloppy with some good words. Exaggerate, exacerbate, exasperate. Sometimes they are used interchangeably and sometimes mixed together.
Exaggerate – represent (something) as being larger, better, or worse than it really is.
Exacerbate – make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.
Exasperate – irritate and frustrate (someone) intensely.
You can see how they wander in the same arena of thinking and speaking and could be used to describe stuff that takes place in these days. “The exaggerated racial tension exacerbated and exasperated the atmosphere around the city council meetings”.
Another interesting discussion on words is what do people hear and what did you actually say and mean. That is pretty important to a preacher who wants to be clear and has an imperative to deliver a message clearly.
Email and social media can confuse things too. If you dictate and have the auto correct function you need to be careful. I have been emailing a friend and mentioned that I have a big problem with my hemoglobin. I never proofed and was surprised when my friend laughed at my “big problem “. He wondered how addicting my “hemp Goblin” really was.