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    #1

    exuberance vs. vehemence

    A friend and I are arguing. She argues that the word "vehement" does not initially or automatically carry a somewhat negative connotation and can be interchanged with any word in that meaning realm like "exuberance" for instance.
    I am arguing that tone and context are important and that is what these different words are there for and you would probably not say vehement where you would say exuberant.
    She argues that people are sheep and don't interchange words like they could because they are adopting meanings set by society and typical usage.

    Ideas?

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: exuberance vs. vehemence

    To me, vehemence is intensity in expressing a particular opinion, while exuberance is enthusiasm for expressing emotion and opinion in general, without reference to any particular opinion.

    Vehemence is combative, exuberance is joyful.
    Last edited by probus; 18-Feb-2011 at 05:29.

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    #3

    Re: exuberance vs. vehemence

    I would second that. There's a huge difference between these two words and Probus is spot on.

    Your friend is correct, however, to say that people adopt meanings set by society and typical usage. In other words, they use the dictionary. If they did not, how could they ever communicate accurately with each other? She should beware of interchanging words too freely, otherwise her listeners or readers will simply find her impossible to understand.

    You are right too to hold that tone and context are important. One word can have completely different meanings in different contexts.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: exuberance vs. vehemence

    Quote Originally Posted by gordonclarkjr View Post
    A friend and I are arguing. She argues that the word "vehement" does not initially or automatically carry a somewhat negative connotation
    They're wrong.
    and can be interchanged with any word in that meaning realm like "exuberance" for instance.
    Even if 'exuberant' were always interchangeable with 'exuberant', a noun isn't interchangeabale with an adjective!
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    I would second that [BK: Not the friend quoted]. There's a huge difference between these two words and Probus is spot on.

    Your friend is correct, however, to say that people adopt meanings set by society and typical usage. In other words, they use the dictionary. If they did not, how could they ever communicate accurately with each other? She should beware of interchanging words too freely, otherwise her listeners or readers will simply find her impossible to understand.

    You are right too to hold that tone and context are important. One word can have completely different meanings in different contexts.
    I think this is being over-generous, in the interest of even-handedness. The friend's mention of 'sheep' shows that they don't share your views about society defining language. The friend is just wrongly arguing that people 'should' be more independent in their use of whatever random concoction of dictionaries/thesauruses they choose to recognise. That view is dangerous, laughable, and just plain wrong. When people's understanding of language is fundamentally mistaken they should be told so clearly and adamantly; vehemently, not exuberantly

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 21-Feb-2011 at 12:20. Reason: added editorial note

  3. Gamma Ray's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: exuberance vs. vehemence

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    To me, vehemence is intensity in expressing a particular opinion, while exuberance is enthusiasm for expressing emotion and opinion in general, without reference to any particular opinion.

    Vehemence is combative, exuberance is joyful.
    Word vehemence is colored with hot passion.

    Word exuberance has joyful shade of meaning as user Probus said.

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