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I do not understand the "stands there" part related to the word:

It is much harder to deny having said an angry word. It stands there, easily repeated back, hard to disavow totally.

What would be a synonym for that? I need to understand. So far I have come up with "stand" in the meaning of "be valid" — it was said and thus it is valid, you cannot take it back. But it does not go well with "there".

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2 Answers 2

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"Stands there" implies that the angry word is present after it has been spoken on account of its severity. It leaves a strong impression on those who have heard it.

As such, I would offer the word "looms" as a synonym that can replace the phrase "stands there" in your passage. Looms has the sense of being ominous and weighty like the impact of the angry word.

looms: To rise before the vision with an appearance of great or portentous size.

"Vision" seems to imply that for a thing to loom it must be visible, but a google search returns examples of "loom" being used to describe an idea or thought.

  • "If no vast and terrifying power of evil loomed in our minds..." [The Prince of Darkness: Radical Evil and the Power of Good In History]
  • "Loss of prestige also loomed..." ["Evil People": A Comparative Study of Witch Hunts in Swabian Austria"]

The sentence with the synonym would read:

It is much harder to deny having said an angry word. It looms, easily repeated back, hard to disavow totally.

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I would suggest the word evident, which (according to NOAD) means plain or obvious; clearly seen or understood.

So:

It is much harder to deny having said an angry word. It remains evident, easily repeated back, hard to disavow totally.

The sentiment conveyed (at least, how I interpret the quote) is that it's harder for everyone in the room to forget you said something angrily. Another idiomatic way you could say it would be:

It is much harder to deny having said an angry word. It hangs in the room, easily repeated back, hard to disavow totally.

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