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Thread: over-interpret

  1. #1
    Jaskin is offline Senior Member
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    Default over-interpret

    hi,
    Is there such a word as "overinterpret" or "over-interpret" or "over interpret".
    I've checked a few dictionaries but non of them lists that word.

    I'm trying to express an idea that: for example when someone understands "kindness" for "love"

    I know I could simply say misinterpret.

    Cheers

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    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: over-interpret

    As far as I'm concerned, if there was such a word as over-interpreting, it would mean that your interpretation contained more meanings than, let's say, a statement actually has, which would make over-interpreting different than misinterpreting.

    Let's say that a political speech contains the meanings below;
    A, B, C

    The misinterpretation of the speech would be; D, E, F
    The over-interpretation of the speech would be; A, B, C, D, E, ...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: over-interpret

    There is an expression with the meaning you're searching for, i.e. misreading simple kindness for love. We say that someone is "reading too much into" something. It can be used in a variety of ways:

    A: "He smiled at me! He must really like me! Should I ask him out?"
    B: "I think you're reading too much into it. He's just a friendly guy."

    A: "I'm writing my essay on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. My thesis is that the two feuding families represent the warring nations of..."
    B: "Whoa, I think you're reading too much into this. It's just a tragic story about love being consumed by hate."

    A: "I got a message from my girlfriend saying we need to talk. I'm freaking out! Do you think she's going to break up with me? She was awfully quiet last night. Maybe I said something wrong!"
    B: "Calm down. You're reading way too much into those four little words. You won't know until you talk to her. Maybe she wants to move in together."

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    Raymott is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: over-interpret

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaskin View Post
    hi,
    Is there such a word as "overinterpret" or "over-interpret" or "over interpret".
    I've checked a few dictionaries but non of them lists that word.

    I'm trying to express an idea that: for example when someone understands "kindness" for "love"

    I know I could simply say misinterpret.

    Cheers
    Oxford English Dictionary:
    over-interpret v. "1863 Spectator 21 Nov. 2772/2 One is always in danger of *over-interpreting the drift of the aggregate. 1939 T. S. ELIOT Family Reunion II. i. 77 You overinterpret. I am sure that your mother always loved him; There was never the slightest suspicion of scandal. 1989 Brit. Med. Jrnl. 10 June 1573/1 Sometimes an anxious mother perceives illness that is not there or overinterprets the periodic breathing and normal movements of a healthy baby."

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