January 11, 2013

In the Jan. 3 “Intersections” article, “When the man fell off the roof” [Metro], Robert Samuels wrote, “A homeless man exalted after discovering a box of cheap cigars lying on the ground.” Now, “to exalt” means “to hold in very high regard” or “to think or speak highly of.” As a transitive verb, however, it requires a direct object. The homeless man must have held someone or something in high regard. The cigars? The unknown person who dropped the box? Unclear.

Perhaps what was meant is that the homeless man “exulted” — that is, felt jubilation — upon realizing that a box of cigars were now his very own.

William A. Harrison III, Fredericksburg