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February 19, 2019

Word of the Day: Emote

1 CQ

Word of the Day : February 19, 2019

emote \ih-MOHT\ verb


: to give expression to emotion especially in acting

Did You Know?

Emote is an example of what linguists call a back-formation—that is, a word formed by trimming down an existing word (in this case, emotion). As is sometimes the case with back-formations, emote has since its coinage in the early 20th century tended toward use that is less than entirely serious. It frequently appears in humorous or deprecating descriptions of the work of actors, and is similarly used to describe theatrical behavior by nonactors. Though a writer sometimes wants us to take someone's "emoting" seriously, a phrase like "expressing emotion" avoids the chance that we will hear some snideness in the writer's words.

Aired February 19, 2019

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