Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Exalt v. Exult

It’s a wonderful world we live in, where, in the midst of doing my Lectionary readings, I can at a moment ask this wonderful machine with its access to collective knowledge: “When do you use exalt and when do you use exult?”

They sound so alike, don’t they?

And a wonderful website, Grammarist, gives me this answer:

Exalt vs. exult

To exalt is to raise in rank, to glorify, or to increase the effect or intensity of. In all its definitions, exalt is transitive, meaning it takes a direct object (i.e., you can’t just exalt, period; you have to exalt someone or something). The word’s past participle, exalted, is often used to mean elevated in rank or lofty

To exult is to rejoice greatly or to be jubilant or triumphant. It is always intransitive, meaning it does not have a direct object (i.e., you can’t exult someone or something; you just exult). The most common derivative of exult is the adjective exultant, which means marked by great joy or jubilation.

In spoken language, that one little vowel probably doesn’t make that much difference, but in written language, if you know the difference (I now do, and so do you!) it could be glaring. So I will no longer write “exaltations!” but “Exultations!” when I am expressing enormous joy.

And now, back to my Lectionary readings, which start with Psalms; here is the Psalm that interrupted my readings in search of the above. I will share it with you. I love that the author uses both exalt and exult in the same Psalm. Can you spot them?

21 Domine, in virtute tua

1 The king rejoices in your strength, O Lord; *
how greatly he exults in your victory!

2 You have given him his heart’s desire; *
you have not denied him the request of his lips.

3 For you meet him with blessings of prosperity, *
and set a crown of fine gold upon his head.

4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him: *
length of days, for ever and ever.

5 His honor is great, because of your victory; *
splendor and majesty have you bestowed upon him.

6 For you will give him everlasting felicity *
and will make him glad with the joy of your presence.

7 For the king puts his trust in the Lord; *
because of the loving-kindness of the Most High, he
will not fall.

(8 Your hand will lay hold upon all your enemies; *
your right hand will seize all those who hate you.

9 You will make them like a fiery furnace *
at the time of your appearing, O Lord;

10 You will swallow them up in your wrath, *
and fire shall consume them.

11 You will destroy their offspring from the land *
and their descendants from among the peoples of the earth.

12 Though they intend evil against you
and devise wicked schemes, *
yet they shall not prevail.

13 For you will put them to flight *
and aim your arrows at them.

14 Be exalted, O Lord, in your might; *
we will sing and praise your power.)

August 27, 2016 - Posted by | Lectionary Readings, Words | ,

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