(Appeared in the November 2007 issue of Community News)
To vilify someone is to say extremely nasty things about him. Those things may be true or false, just so long as they're really nasty. Its root is the Latin word vilis, meaning cheap. The English word vile comes from the same root. In both cases, the words acquired much stronger meanings in English. Vilify isn't commonly used in conversational English, but we can expect to see it in action a lot during the upcoming election season. The candidates will be vilifying each other. Vilification will fill the air.
(Oh, this is embarrassing! I copied the above from the e-mail I sent to the editor, and I noticed that I had typed it's root instead of its root. Aargh! And now it's too late to fix it. How could I have done that? Sheesh.)
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