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Hatred, the noun, and to hate, the verb, do not completely coincide in their semantic ranges. Hatred carries with it more intensity and greater seriousness than many of our most common uses of the verb. Hatred is unlikely to apply aptly to one’s feelings about broccoli, though it would be perfectly normal to register one’s aversion to it by saying ‘I hate broccoli’. In daily speech, hate can be used to indicate a fairly strong but not very serious aversion to a film, novel, or food, all the way to desiring, with varying seriousness, the extermination of an entire people. The word hate can thus mark a powerful moral/immoral *sentiment, or merely register a negative *preference. In this it tracks Latin usage, where the verb, odi, and the noun odium, can be used to register both simple version and also an intense passion of all-consuming detestation.


Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.

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