Word of the Week: How to Be Offended

9:30 AM

Ever felt that shocking smack to one's pride? Ever known the angry sensation of embarrassment caused by a smart-aleck? Ever been offended and wanted to let the whole world know?

I feel duty bound to first of all direct you to Matthew 5:39 and secondly to the phone book. Call an anger management class.

After that, you should be in a semi-sort of mind to analyze your defensive mode - in other words, it will be then that these words come in handy.

Degree One: Annoyed

The word is umbrage. If a passing bully insulted your neon green shoes, you would rightly take umbrage at such a treatment of your fashion sense. You're annoyed, you resent it but you're too dignified to do more than bristle. Umbrage traveled all the way from Latin's umbra, which means shadow. What do shadows have to do with offenses? If you take umbrage, you have a shadow of suspicion that somebody insulted you.

Degree Two: Openly Insulted

The word is affronted. If your best friend provokingly mocks your neon green shoes in the strongest possible language, you would be affronted, shamelessly mocked and openly ridiculed. Its etymology provides a better picture of the so-called friend's actions: affront comes from afronter, which means to literally strike on the forehead.

Degree Three: Enraged

The word is incensed. You're furious and fuming. Every possible insult has been addressed to your neon green shoes. The Latin incendere formed the base of this word and means "to set on fire."

The Moral of This Story

The next time somebody provokes your wrath, think about the degrees of your fury so that you may properly fix them: if you took umbrage, seek the light of truth; if you're affronted, find a soothing balm; and if you're incensed, grab the fire extinguisher before you burn the house down.

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5 impressions

  1. Hehe, your "word of the week" posts just keep getting better! Loved it!!


  2. Flop, I take umbrage at whatever you were thinking.

    LOL Thanks, Elissa! This was definitely my favorite WOTW post yet. :o)

  3. Fabulous Bailey!! Did you use a dictionary or did you already know all that? :)

    luv ya!


  4. As much as I would enjoy likening myself to Encyclopedia Brown, I cannot take credit for exhaustive etymological knowledge. This post was a combination of Google, Encarta online dictionary and a really neat etymology site.

    ;o) Luv ya, Carilee!


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