The news seems able to cover endless stories regarding dishonesty, shooting, manipulation, graft, harassment, & systemic inequality. These stories rightfully spark significant emotion, but we Americans aren’t famous for our facility with emotional vocabulary. This week’s Wordmonger post asks, What are we really feeling about all this?
Our default word tends to be angry. Dictionaries tells us anger is a broad term which implies emotional agitation of no specified intensity, aroused by great displeasure. That doesn’t quite nail my emotional response to all this, so here are some options:
Fury is an overwhelming rage of a frenzied nature, bordering on madness.
When we feel upset we’re experiencing an emotional toppling or disorganization.
Ire suggests that our anger & wrath are transforming into keen resentment.
When we are vexed, we are troubled, annoyed, irritated, & disturbed.
Wrath is deep indignation expressing itself in a desire to punish or extract revenge.
When we are enraged we experience uncontrolled anger that often results in violence.
Indignation is righteous anger aroused by what is considered unjust, mean, or shameful.
Smoldering means fully or partially suppressed rage and fury.
When we are incensed we are spitefully or furiously angry.
And rage is a violent outburst of anger unleashed through a loss of self control.
Any thoughts on these near-synonyms for anger? Even better — suggest how our beleaguered society can constructively respond to these emotions.
Big thanks to this week’s sources: the OED, Merriam Webster, & Wordnik, Collins Dictionary
& the 1959 Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language.
I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.
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