Thursday, December 31, 2009

Google Alerts

Here's what I don't get: I have "epicaricacy" on my Google Alerts, just in case something interesting pops up. Often, though, when I am sent links I can't find the word. This is an example. It is particularly intriguing because on the Google Alert it says, "Greek Etymologies - Friends of Epicaricacy: Is it really" so it could mention this Blog. But I can't even find the word "epicaricacy" anywhere.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What is it?

Oh my God. My Wordcraft friends will chuckle at this one. My daughter and I were watching "Crazy Christmas lights" tonight and were amused by the work people go to in order to produce total dreck. One man (who admitted he is obsessive compulsive) puts up more than 700,000 lights. Talk about gaudy, tacky, and ostentatious! Then the announcer called it "art." My daughter said, "What is art anyway?" Oy vey. I had to laugh...hard!

[For non-Wordcrafters, this has been a contentious discussion on our board and we really can't bring it up any more. 'Tis a pity.]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is it really a word?

I had a discussion with a disbeliever (in "epicaricacy") recently and ever since I have been wondering whether it really is an English word. Remember, it has a Greek etymology, and the first (and one of the only) citation in a dictionary is using some of the Greek letters. How then is it any different from "Schadenfreude," which is, to me, a German word. Further, how often is "epicaricacy" used as a word in English...really? It is used, but only to define it, call it a word or used in arrogance (e.g. "Ha! ha! you don't know the word!")

Now, in support of the word, it is becoming more widely known. I have been getting many more Google alerts these this one and this one. In each of them, you have to scroll down to the comments.

While the writers do use the word, as you can see, it's merely in lexacographical manner. So...I am myself beginning to think the OED might be right to not include it.

Here is one of the comments:

I have a fondness for the word "schadenfreude", and the supposedly english version of the word..."epicaricacy".

I have had them posted on my wall for 3 or more years, and have only heard the word "epicaricacy" used once. "Schadenfreude" was the explanation when I looked up "epicaricacy".

And here is the other:

Dude, I just did a whole post on "Schaudenfreude" a couple of weeks ago. Of course, I spelled Schaudenfreude wrong and completely botched the context, but I hardly am ever hard on myself for misspelling things in German. The english equivalent is "epicaricacy." I learned that from one of my smart readers. I was as surprised as anyone when I found out I had one.

Friday, December 11, 2009


That Google Alert feature is invaluable to Blogs like mine. Today I found alphadictionary via Google Alert, and the illustrious Tsuwm, from the Worthless Word of the Day, posted this:

"this word, as defined in Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of
Unusual... Words, has caused a lot of discussion
in the past on a couple of forums that discuss these
sorts of things. where in the world did she find
this English word for a concept that isn't supposed
to have a word in English (schadenfreude being German
in origin)? this question has yet to be answered in
full, but I can quote you this from Nathan Bailey's
An Universal Etymological English Dictionary, which
is a very olde dictionary indeed (1721):

Epicharikaky - from the Greek words or roots for 'upon', 'joy', and 'evil': 'A Joy at the Misfortunes of o

I am sure one of the forums he was referring to was my beloved Wordcraft.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lotsa epicaricacies

Well, today may be my lucky day...or my unlucky day...depending on how you look at it. I received from Google Alerts a bunch of epicaricacy Web alerts. The first one, however, is from my least favorite site in the whole world. I'll be the bigger person and post a link to it: "Schadenfreude, as everyone knows, describes the pleasure some derive from another's personal misfortune. Is there a word to describe the possibly more common feeling of resentment at another's success?" Funny thing is, I asked a similar question on this Blog recently. Down further in the thread someone mentions epicaricacy: "then there's the other complement of epicaricacy..macarism (rare) taking pleasure from another's happiness."

Then there's this little mention of it in: Epicaricacy does not own glee.

The next is from a Blog; comment #1: "I must admit I've picked up on epicaricacy and keep trying to use it. This is probably more showing off than anything else."

The next was here, but I have no idea what to do with it.

Here's another Blog comment [Were I so lucky!]: "THAT’S what makes the Schadenfreuders rub their hands with glee and delight. And the English equivalent of this word is epicaricacy."

And, lastly, here's one: "If you feel particularly pretentious, or if you're talking to Frasier, use the term 'epicaricacy' instead of lulz."

Yeah, yeah. The top one is the best. Ugh.