Monday, February 9, 2015

Weird Word of the Week: Exaggerbated

I *LOVE* this word, which I just now read in "Dear Prudence":

Subject: Dinner party etiquette
I am a grad student in my late 20s, and I find that often when I organize parties at home, my guests tell me enthusiastically that they are attending, but then on the day of, I receive a flurry of texts explaining how they can't come after all. Most recently, this led me to cancel the party outright, and left me nursing hurt feelings. I pride myself on my cooking abilities, and I try to think through the guest list carefully to make sure that everyone has someone to talk to. I suspect that this is an etiquette problem rather than a personal snub. My question is, as a hostess, how can I handle it gracefully when my party unravels around me because most of my guests suddenly can't come? 

Please invite me! I will come with a bottle of wine, be delighted to have someone cook for me, and will try to make entertaining conversation. This is not a new problem, but I think it’s exaggerbated by technology. People your age have come of age being able to spontaneously make and change plans because you have a device in your hands that makes this instantly possible. So social plans have a rather contingent quality. Dinner parties aren’t contingent. They require a lot of work and money, and in the absence of a death in the family, or a trip to the emergency room, it is not acceptable to flake at the last minute. People you weren’t close to who you wanted to know better, just cross off the list. People who are good friends who bail  -- well, go ahead and explain their sudden absence really stung. When do make these plans, make clear to everyone this is a dinner party. When you send out your reminder, feel free to send it to everyone and say, “Look forward to seeing all of you Friday at 7:00.” Don’t give up on gracious entertaining, just cull your guest list so you are only entertaining gracious people. 

See it? In this sentence:  "This is not a new problem, but I think it’s exaggerbated by technology."

Is it a perfect invention of a word, or what?

1 comment:

AskTheGeologist said...

Ummm. I'm left with the rather strong impression that it IS a made-up word.

I think some commentatator has an exaggerbated sense of her command of the Engrish language.