I was asked by a student "What is the difference between annoyance, anger and exasperation?"
I replied, "It is mostly a matter of degree. Let me show you what I mean."
With that, I went to the telephone and dialed a number at random. To the man who answered the phone, I said, "Hello, is Melvin there?"
The man answered, "There is no one living here named Melvin. Why don't you learn to look up numbers before you dial them?"
"See," I shared with the young lady. "That man was not a bit happy with our call. He was probably very busy with something and we ANNOYED him. Now watch."
I dialed the number again. "Hello, is Melvin there?" I asked.
"Now look here!" came the heated reply. "You just called this number and I told you that there is no Melvin here! You've got a lot of nerve calling again!" The receiver slammed down hard.
Turning to the student I said, "You see, that was ANGER, plain and simple."
"Now I'll show you what EXASPERATION means."
I dialed the same number, and when a violent voice roared, "Hello!" I calmly said, "Hello, this is Melvin. Have there been any calls for me?"