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    #1

    Verb for 'making something less severe'

    Hello!

    What is the verb you would use in the context of 'making something less severe' (e.g. economic consequences of a crisis or someone's decision) that wouldn't sound too formal?
    Soften, ease?

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    #2

    Re: Verb for 'making something less severe'

    mitigate, ameliorate, alleviate

    Make use of the thesaurus

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    #3

    Re: Verb for 'making something less severe'

    Thesauras is great but I'd like to know which of those words if used wouldn't sound a bit odd either because of much formality or just because of their misuse.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Verb for 'making something less severe'

    You could also use 'attenuate' - which is just Latin for 'soften'; and 'alleviate' is just Latin for 'lighten'; 'ameliorate' -> 'make better'. But you're right to suspect these polysyllabic words of sounding formal.

    b

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    #5

    Re: Verb for 'making something less severe'

    So, soften can be used when talking about abstract notions like consequences of something?

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    #6

    Re: Verb for 'making something less severe'

    Quote Originally Posted by undeddy View Post
    So, soften can be used when talking about abstract notions like consequences of something?
    soften the consequences?
    soften a crisis?

    I would use 'mitigate'

    not a teacher

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    #7

    Re: Verb for 'making something less severe'

    Quote Originally Posted by undeddy View Post
    Hello!

    What is the verb you would use in the context of 'making something less severe' (e.g. economic consequences of a crisis or someone's decision) that wouldn't sound too formal?
    Soften, ease?
    "lessen" is good.

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    #8

    Re: Verb for 'making something less severe'

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    "lessen" is good.
    IMO, 'lessen the consequences' is to reduce the extent of the consequences. 'Mitigate' is a more precise word to say, 'to reduce the severity of the consequences.'

    not a teacher


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    #9

    Re: Verb for 'making something less severe'

    using the word reduce here is something i typically do.

    EG "Scenario A would reduce the economic consequences of the recession"

    Adding the word impact with soften could also be used.

    EG "Scenario A would soften the impact of the economic consequences"

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Verb for 'making something less severe'

    Lighten?

    b

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