"Exorcise" or "Exercise"?
A reader wondered whether she gets “exercised” or “exorcised” when she becomes upset about something. She can imagine a logical argument for either one.
Exorcisms are limited to evil spirits. The word “exorcise” comes from a Greek work for “oath,” so think of swearing an oath to get rid of an evil spirit, and in your mind, link the “o” from “oath” to the idea that “exorcise” is spelled with an “o.”
Exercising is for all kinds of mind and body activities:
Sir Fragalot exercises on horseback.
Squiggly became exercised [upset] when he learned the peeves escaped.
Aardvark wanted to exercise their right to form a posse.
Grammar Girl urged them all to exercise good judgment.
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