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For example, in a sentence that states "Person A and Person B reacted with terror at each others' views," is there a more formal way to phrase this? The current phrasing seems like an awkward way to convey that Person A reacted with terror at Person B's views, while Person B simultaneously reacted with terror at Person A's views.


I think I obfuscated my question in the initial post. I'm wondering if there is a more formal way to phrase that the opinions in question are each others? The current phrasing seems like an awkward way to convey that Person A is reacting to person B's opinions and person B is reacting to A's positions.

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@StoneyB- I think view here is in the sense of opinion/position/stance on some set of issues. – Jim Sep 16 '12 at 21:25
@Jim hmmm ... looking at the Title question I think you're right. I'll kill my comment. – StoneyB Sep 16 '12 at 22:18
I wouldn't mind an example of this. I can easily imagine being angered by someone's views, or frustrated by someone's views, or astonished by someone's views, but, outside the context of Jodie Foster's character in Silence of the Lambs, I'm having trouble imagining a scenario where opposing opinions struck "terror" in the hearts of those in disagreement (which is why I suggested something a bit more mild and generic in my answer below). – J.R. Sep 17 '12 at 6:28
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You might say “Persons A and B found each other’s views terrifying”, or perhaps with abhorrent in place of terrifying, if you mean they each found the other’s views detestable or repulsive or repugnant rather than frightening. Some of these words can be used in verb forms; eg “Persons A and B abhorred, detested, and reviled each other’s views”. (Reviled of course does not mean they were frightened of each other’s views, but that they roundly criticized or denigrated them.)

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+1 for more synonyms. I phrased my question incorrectly at first, I think, because the repugnance or distaste for another's stance wasn't what I was trying to rephrase. I was wondering if there is a better way than "each others' views" that didn't use "each others'", since that sounded awkward to me for whatever reason. If it isn't awkward, I can happily stay with that. – Ricardo Altamirano Sep 17 '12 at 2:07
@Ricardo, ok. I naturally assumed that the clumsy phrasing you referred to was “reacted with terror at”. If you want to avoid “each others’” for whatever reason, you can use an “Each of A and B ... views of the other” form, as in eg “Each of A and B traduced the views of the other.” – jwpat7 Sep 17 '12 at 2:44
Or something like "recoiled in horror at". By the way, shouldn't it be "each other's"? (Each only has one other...) – Billy Sep 17 '12 at 6:28
@Billy, you probably are right about others' vs other's; I edited answer. Looks like a reason to prefer “Each of A and B ... views of the other” form. – jwpat7 Sep 17 '12 at 6:41

This may come across as too clinical, but how about:

A and B held diametrically opposed views

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You could try:

A and B are at odds with each other.

That phrase is more mild than reacting with “terror”, but it does imply a sharp and perhaps contentious disagreement.

If that's doesn't convey enough “terror” for you, than you could try:

A and B were both horrified by (or mortified by) each other's viewpoints.

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I don't find the initial sentence that awkward. But one another sometimes feels slightly more elegant than each other:

A and B reacted with terror to one another's views.

However, if the whole structure of the sentence is not what you want, the following type of structure is often seen and carries the more "formal" tone you may be looking for:

A was as terrified by B's views as B was by A's.

B's views terrified A as much as A's terrified B.

This might sound clumsy, but probably works better with the insertion of actual names: "Nick's views terrified Elizabeth as badly as hers terrified him."

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A and B reacted to one another’s views with mutual terror.

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