She has a tendency to take whatever a person says and (twists, sours, distorts, inflames as evil) to make some one look bad or way worse than they really are.

She would be having a conversation with another in a family setting. All the rest understands what the other is saying, but when "she" hears it, it is evident by her response that she was taking it as a negative about herself, or something she likes, which it was not.

Then she will single a phrase out from what was said and answer, obviously from a distorted perception, then embellish the distortion coming out with an inflamed, corrupted and evil twist, to sour everyone else's view of the person she is arguing with, to make herself seem good.

What would be a term to refer to such a way of communicating? Verb for the action, or adjective to describe it or term for such a Disorder?

closed as off-topic by JEL, curiousdannii, ab2, jimm101, John Clifford Mar 14 '16 at 13:23

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests" – curiousdannii, ab2, jimm101, John Clifford
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Can you write an example sentence where the single-word would fit? Are you looking for a noun, phrase or verb? In what context does she twist a story? – user140086 Mar 8 '16 at 6:57
  • In this context is it to make something bad appear worse or something neutral/good look bad? If the former, exacerbate would do. "She has a tendency to exacerbate a someone's misguided comments." – dgun Mar 8 '16 at 7:58
  • This can only refer to current USA candidate politics, I'm sure. – Bookeater Mar 8 '16 at 8:13
  • "negatively [mis]interprete" ? – Graffito Mar 8 '16 at 8:27
  • That's typically just called, "twisting someones words around" – Jim Mar 14 '16 at 1:39

twist is probably the word you are looking for.

"If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." -- Cardinal Richelieu (attrib.)

  • Something that would add more evil, souring, distortion to the mere twist word. – kirksaaa Mar 8 '16 at 6:57

You can say that the person is exaggerating

Represent (something) as being larger, better, or worse than it really is

or if you are looking for a strictly negative word, then catastrophize

View or present a situation as considerably worse than it actually is


  • Do we have enough context to answer the question? Is this question in line with our gudelines for single-word-request? – user140086 Mar 8 '16 at 6:58
  • 1
    @Rathony - Nice point. I gave the benefit of the doubt to a new user. Of course, they can always edit their question to improve it so that it adheres to SWR tag requirements. Also, I have seen too many SWR questions without context or usage examples attracting answers from established users. So I don't think I am doing anything out of the ordinary. – BiscuitBoy Mar 8 '16 at 7:05
  • The way I see the issue is this. Those SWR questions that attracted answers probably had some context. Then, it is okay not to have any example sentence. The question has neither context nor an example sentendce. Regardless of whatever happened before, we close the question first. If the Original Poster is desperate enought to get an answer, (s)he will edit the question. If not, we forget it. A user will take this question as an example that can be answered without any context or an example sentence in the future. – user140086 Mar 8 '16 at 7:07

Countless examples out there. To name a few, roughly in order of intensity:


Damage the good reputation of (someone); slander or libel: 'he claimed that the article defamed his family'


Harm the good reputation of: 'his remarks were taken out of context in an effort to discredit him'


Speak about (someone) in a spitefully critical manner: 'don’t you dare malign her in my presence'



I'd suggest impugn:

to challenge as false (another's statements, motives, etc.); cast doubt upon, from Dictionary.com

For example, she impugned her brother's honour when she suggested he was a liar


Falsify can work

Falsify - to make false or incorrect, especially so as to deceive, as defined on dictionary.com

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