Sunday, September 14, 2014

Correction in Quinion's Newsletter

The following correction was made in Quinion's newsletter. Unfortunately, he didn't correct his entry on his Web site: "Epicaricacy. Nancy Spector of the Wordcraft website pointed out that I was wrong to say the word epicaricacy doesn’t appear in any of Nathan Bailey’s dictionaries. It is included in An Universal Etymological English Dictionary of 1721 but in the spelling epicharikaky. Ammon Shea, whom I doubted in my piece, tells me it’s also in John Ash’s New and Complete Dictionary of the English Language of 1775 and in A Dictionary of the Synonymous Words and Technical Terms in the English Language by James Leslie of 1806, both in the same spelling as in Bailey’s. The word appears several times in various works in the original Greek spelling; a writer on the Wordcraft site found it a century before Bailey in Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy of 1621. It was familiar to Burton and other Greek scholars because Aristotle had used it."

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's on YouTube...

Listen to this YouTube pronunciation of epicaricacy.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Quinion on Epicaricacy

I am not surprised. Quinion has now come out with the opinion that "epicaricacy" is not a fine old English word, but instead an "an erudite modern coining known to hardly anybody and of limited interest." He even seems to refute that it is in Bailey's Universal Etymological English Dictionary, which of course it is as I have written here. I saw it at Powell's Bookstore in Portland (the 1770 edition), though here it is online in the 1763 edition. It's too bad he didn't do a little more digging. I also love this entry on Wordcraft about "epicaricacy." It's erudite, but thought-provoking. While "epicaricacy" isn't in the OED, it was cited as an English word in the OED. As I wrote in a message to Quinion (providing him with the link above from Bailey's), I'll never understand some people's (including the OED's) reluctance to calling "epicaricacy" a word. There are so many worthless words out there (we know this from Tsuwm's WWFTD site), so why the reaction against this great word?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wow - it has been awhile!

I guess, push come to shove, blogging isn't my thing these days.  There's just too much to do.

However, I recently read something that wasn't really meant for Wordcraft (though, I do plan to mention it as it is relevant for our "rich" vs. "wealthy" thread) and yet I don't like to get political on Facebook - yet I wanted to comment on it somewhere.  I remembered my Blog!  Here is a great quote from Ezra Klein:

Within the general rubric of "inequality," income inequality gets a whole lot more attention than wealth inequality. But wealth inequality is much more concentrated and, in various ways, much more dangerous for the social structure. In particular, it's wealth inequality that really ossifies social mobility.
The children of the top one percent only occasionally manage to match their parent's incomes. But they often receive massive inheritances that grow over time, installing them atop the economic ladder and giving them a political reason to fight like hell against progressive tax policies (the Walton family is a good example here). And this kind of inequality doesn't have any of the salutary benefits of income inequality: Massive inheritances don't make people work harder. They give them a reason to never work very hard at all, and to try to influence public policy so they never have to work hard in the future, either.
How true!  I have seen some of these wealthy families and oftentimes their kids, he is right, end up doing nothing but investing the "family" money.  They have "family" connections and therefore can often get legal protections of their wealth legislated.  It is disgusting, really.  Here is a link to the full article.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Can any Definition Work?

So - is epicaricacy a word, or not?  "If  it's not in a current well-respected dictionary," I am told, "it isn't a word.  "It is not used enough."  "The same people publish the word so it's not in the general vernacular."  Blah, blah, blah.

That's all well and good, though, it  has been in a well-respected dictionary in the past.  However, you can't have it both ways.  It must be that way for all words and their definitions then.  For example, we are talking about the French word couac on Wordcraft.  The meaning in French is "a bad note from a defective or mishandled reed instrument."  Some there think that since that meaning is mentioned elsewhere (not in lexicographic instances) that it is a legitimate definition in English, too.  If it's used that way by some, fine, I agree.  But then epicaricacy is an English word as well.  A tit for a tat, so to speak.

Friday, January 18, 2013

An epicaricacy story on me!

Yes, here you can have your laughs on my misery:

I was in the airport and entered a bathroom.  I entered the first stall and upon leaving went to wash my hands.  I noticed that the sink was disgustingly wet..."a bunch of slobs," I thought.  Then I looked around.  "Why are men using urinals in the women's bathroom," I thought?  Funny how your mind works.  Then, just as a man walked up to me to tell me I was in the men's bathroom, I realized, "Ah...that's why the men are using the urinal.  I am in the wrong bathroom!"  The man said, "I won't tell anyone!"  I sped out and found a women's bathroom and washed my hands there.

Lessons learned:  1) Don't always think you are right!  2) Men's bathrooms are disgusting!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Children of the Nazis

This is a video of the children of Nazis.  In my head I guess I knew that the general public in Germany supported Hitler and the Nazis, but in my heart I couldn't believe it.  Here it is from the mouths of their children.