Wednesday’s Word (#6)

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Time for another installment of Wednesday’s Word, the blog series where I share the meanings of words that are fun to say! (In case you missed them, here are my previous Wednesday’s Word posts.)

With the recent shooting at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the word that came to mind was…

Exacerbate:
Make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse [as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary]

The shooting, and other terrorist attacks that preceded it, exacerbated tensions between Islamic extremists and Europe and the United States. These types of attacks often cause more violence against innocent Muslims (and others) in retaliation for the original attacks. They decrease tolerance and increase judgmental attitudes. In the wise words of Evelyn Beatrice Hall, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” (This is often incorrectly attributed to Voltaire but was written by Hall to illustrate Voltaire’s views.)

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