Either way, that’s a lot of money, of course, but the point is not to expiate upon the market forces driving prices in the funeral industry. (source)

"Expiate upon" only returns several hundred hits on Google, most of them are from the early 1800s. My understanding is "expiate" in its modern usage is usually used transitively. Is this usage in this sentence common? What does it mean then?


I think that 'expiate' is an error, and that the writer was reaching for 'expatiate'.


verb [ T ]
to show that you are sorry for bad behaviour by doing something or accepting punishment

Expiate (Cambridge)


verb [ I ]
to speak or write about something in great detail or for a long time:

Expatiate (Cambridge)

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  • Low-quality writing; the use of "Left virtue signalling" indicates the political leanings of the writer. – Michael Harvey Sep 9 '18 at 22:05
  • I agree. But expatiate would be pushing it in modern parlance. I fail to see how you can deduce the author's politics here. – Lambie Sep 9 '18 at 22:41
  • In contemporary US political discourse, 'virtue signalling" is coded language used by right and especially hard-right commentators to signify contempt for "liberal" or "left" views – Michael Harvey Sep 10 '18 at 6:45
  • I see. I must be behind the times as I usually call that coded language. But I only realized the politics here on seeing the publication and the article's title. But not the sentence on its own. – Lambie Sep 10 '18 at 13:10

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