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June 12, 2017 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"Interrogate"
Definition--Interrogate- v. to question thoroughly, sometimes threateningly; debrief.

Discussion--When most of us hear the word interrogate we visualize two hard-nosed police officers grilling a suspect with a harsh version of "good cop, bad cop." They yell and scream and intimidate until they get the suspect to confess to the crime. At least, that's the way it works on television.

In real life, an interrogation does not have to be such a dramatic event. It could be a parent questioning a child as to whether or not the child has completed his/her homework. I know I used to face that thorough interrogation every night!

The main difference between just saying "question" or "inquire" instead of "interrogate" lies in the connotation of the words. Interrogate implies a much more thorough and intensive questioning process. For instance, asking someone what they ate for breakfast is not much of an interrogation. But then following up by asking why they ate what they ate, what they saw as being the nutritional benefit of the meal, were they pleased with the food, etc... probably would constitute an interrogation.

Etymology--Interrogate-probably a back formation of interrogation, from Old French interrogation, from latin interrogationem, meaning question or questioning.


   Foreign Translations
Dutch:  ondervragen, verhoren
French:  interroger
German:  verhören
Italian:  interrogare
Spanish:  interrogar

Jane Ellis      Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook

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