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November 28, 2005

How Do You Spell Excitement? One Freshman's Thoughts

Today's definition article courtesy of English-blog contributor Allison R.:

Defining Excitement

“Think excitement, talk excitement, act out excitement, and you are bound to become an excited person. Life will take on a new zest, deeper interest and greater meaning. You can think, talk, and act yourself into dullness or into monotony or into unhappiness. By the same process you can build up inspiration, excitement and surging depth of joy.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Stated in this quote is a way to define excitement. As something that fills life with meaning and understanding. By comparing excitement to dullness it is shown that to put yourself in the dark makes one unhappy. To live life with excitement brings out a new outlook on life and how it is lived . . .

. . . This is not the only meaning of the word excitement; many people have their own definition and opinion too. According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, excitement is defined as: to stir up; kindle the emotions of, this bland definition barely states the emotions that are truly felt by a person. A more descriptive definition was found at http://www.dictionary.com: an emotional state characterized by its potential for impulsive or poorly controlled activity or the state of being excited: as aroused, augmented, or abnormal activity of an organism or functioning of an organ or part; extreme motor hyperactivity. Anyone can go on and on copying definitions for such a word, but this is an emotion that everyone experiences and expresses differently.

Excitement can describe feelings felt by people of all ages and personalities. A seven year old girl could describe her excitement to find a new doll under her tree on Christmas morning or a sixteen year old boy getting his first car on his birthday. These are two different emotions described by varying ages. The seven year old might state her excitement by jumping up and down, hugging, and playing with this doll all day. Those emotions that were felt showed the little girl’s excitement of receiving a new doll. The sixteen year old might call up all of his buddies and brag about his new ride or even take it for a spin. Unlike the seven year old girl the boy would not jump up and down and hug his new car, he would show it off.

Excitement makes one feel, at that particular moment, that nothing else could go wrong or that they are the luckiest person alive. No matter what a person considers being exciting, whether it be a movie/TV show, an object, a person, activity, or a certain event, the same emotions can be expressed.

Excitement is compared to anticipation in being that there are one in the same. A state of calmness, carelessness, happiness, and enthusiasm can also overwhelm a person. Anticipation can be felt the night before playing an important football game against your biggest rival. That is the emotion felt until game time, and then you are filled with excitement once the band starts to play and the crowd goes wild as the team runs out onto the field.

Excitement also can be expressed by a good mark that someone received on an assignment or presentation. Happiness is felt by knowing that you did a good job, and put time and effort into the assignment.

With excitement can also come feelings of nervousness and doubt when approaching an important date. A bride and groom might feel nervous about committing to one person for the rest of their lives. They may also doubt that the decision made to embark on such a relationship was the wrong decision. As long as the bride does not leave the groom, afterwards at the reception there would be nothing but feelings of excitement along with its friend anticipation. Excitement and doubt are, yes, two different emotions, but when mixed together one gets to experience a taste of two different worlds.

An emotion like excitement can be shown either physically or verbally. Some examples of physical excitement are: a grin from ear to ear, jumping up and down, eyes wide opened, excessive use of hand gestures, and even tears of joy. Some verbal examples are: phrases like “wow”, “awesome”, “neato”, “oh my lord.” There can be a repeated yelling of such words or, in some people’s case, speechlessness.

Such an emotion can cause people to lose sleep because, yet again, anticipation is filling their minds with thoughts of partaking in a wonderful event. Vacation to the beach is a perfect example that fits some people’s mentality. This begins with the packing process, loading a suitcase with clothes that you will wear on your week away from the norm. Then the night before departure causes one to loose sleep because all they want is for it to be the next day, where they get to wake up and leave for a certain period of time. The whole way to your destination is nothing but excitement; with every mile that passes you are that much closer to having fun in the sun. This feeling is sustained until the day that you have to leave; one is filled with sadness which is another emotion that I am not supposed to talk about in this essay.
n my opinion, excitement is an emotion felt depending on the circumstance for which a person is subjected. The level of excitement depends on the event being experienced by the person. It is something controlled by a part of your brain obviously along with all your emotions. Excitement is not, to me, abnormal activity although I do see it to be a hyperactive condition. I also believe that excitement can be contagious. If one person notices someone becoming excited over an event, object, movie, etc., this could trigger that persons want to be excited as well. There are in some cases people who have trouble experiencing these emotions, but all in all excitement is a diverse emotion expressed in many different ways by many different people.

~ Allison R.

Comments for Allison's article "Defining Excitement?" Please leave them below:

*To read other essays/articles on this blog that deal with either the origins, meanings, or subtleties of words in the English language, please click HERE!

Posted by lhobbs at November 28, 2005 12:16 AM

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