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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (February 23, 2009)

Exacerbating my Exasperation

Imagine how exasperated someone may be who knows the difference between exacerbate and exasperate. Do you?


To exasperate is the more common, meaning "to cause irritation or annoyance in a person." A two year old having a tantrum often exasperates her parents.

Exacerbate is a useful word as well, meaning "to make a situation worse." Be careful not to give in to a child's tantrum or you may exacerbate the situation.


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