mull the accusation or contemplate

Ben pan

Senior Member
chinese
As she mulled the accusations against him, she asked, "How could you?" This is from a CNN report about the monster who abducted three Ohio women. 'She' refers to the monster`s daughter. Can 'Mull' be substituted by ponder over, contemplate, ruminate on, meditate on? It seems to me the ruminate on and meditate on both entail a long time of immerging into thinking, therefore not suitable in this case, because the interval between her act of thinking and her speaking seems to be very short. Which word is the best and the second best?
 
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  • Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    If I may define "best" as the one that attracts the least attention, the one that is most neutral and free of stylistic connotations, I would choose "contemplate".
    "Mulled" seems like a journalistic choice, favored because it has only one syllable.
    "Meditate" has connotations in the direction of religion and spiritual practices, making it seem inappropriate here.
    "Ruminate" is just too rare.
    All of the above are my immediate personal impressions. Wait for other opinions.
     

    Ben pan

    Senior Member
    chinese
    I agree that contemplate could have been used. So could pondered (no "over", though).
    Why no "over"? Is it because ponder over is more about a rationally complicated problem and more of a clear-headeded and cold-hearted type?
     
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