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Imagine the next situation, I am talking with a friend about this article: Haiti: photojournalist shot in face as senator opens fire outside parliament ...:

Friend: Ehh, Did you read this one?

Me: Ahh yes, I read it this morning.

Me: I think his reaction was disproportionate, he could has handled the situation in a better way ...

Disproportionate means:

too large or too small in comparison to something else, or not deserving its importance or influence

  • There are a disproportionate number of girls in the class.
  • The country's great influence in the world is disproportionate to its relatively small size.

Source: Cambridge Dictionary

I am using disproportionate to refer an action of him, I am not talking about: shapes, numbers (for example: ehh look that team is disproportionate, it has the double of players than the others), ...

So, as I asked: Is "disproportionate" word correct in this context?

  • 2
    I don't understand the point of your question and the text you cite. – Lambie Sep 24 at 21:35
  • 3
    @Lambie It's not useful to leave such vague comments. The question is fine and understandable, and is asking about the usage of a word (disproportionate) in a sentence (I think his reaction was disproportionate). – userr2684291 Sep 24 at 21:48
  • All answers were really helpful, they opened my mind a little more in a way that I saw english language as rigid, but... your comments helped me to see it less rigid now. I will explain this, I tried to communicate an idea perfectly (choosing the perfect words) but I see now that I can communicate an idea in many ways (I have many word choices). – learnprogramming Sep 26 at 1:53
2

It's fine, although I think you need to better define what reaction was disproportionate, and how it was disproportionate. For example:

Drawing a handgun and firing randomly into the crowd seems like a disproportionate response to the level of threat. It doesn't seem like he was in any real danger.

Also I think you mean to say "handled", not "lead".

I think the senator could have handled the situation in a better way.

  • I fixed it. Yes, "handled" sounds much better. – learnprogramming Sep 25 at 21:27
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I think that’s a good choice, especially noting that the senator remarked

“Armed individuals threatened me. It was proportional. Equal force, equal response.”

You could say it’s a bit of wordplay.

However, as the entry shows, you can/should use to to indicate what it’s relative to. For example,

I think his reaction was disproportionate to the alleged threat.

I would say that “disproportionate” is a tad on the formal side. If you want an common, slightly less formal word, consider overreact:

  • overreact
    : to react to something too strongly : to respond to something with too strong an emotion or with unnecessary or excessive action
    // I was furious and yelled at him. He told me I was overreacting and to "chillax."
    — Ben Stein
    (M-W)

  • overreact
    Respond more emotionally or forcibly than is justified.
    ‘the Authority are urging people not to overreact to the problem’
    (Lexico)

Example:

I think he overreacted. He could have handled it better.

  • 1
    There's no general indication to add to after the word, unless the context requires it. His response was disproportionate. is perfectly sufficient, unless one wants to say more. – Jim Reynolds Sep 24 at 21:01
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I don't feel like disproportionate is the best choice here. How about uncalled-for:

his reaction was uncalled-for, he could has lead the situation in a better way

Also, I'm thinking of excessive, but I'm not sure if it fits the context.

  • 1
    Both the words you suggest mean different things. You have to explain why disproportionate doesn't work. (–1) – userr2684291 Sep 24 at 21:54

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