Monday, June 28, 2010

Sometimes the Web surprises me...

Mostly I read mundane Web sites that are informative or fun or that someone links me to. But sometimes I am totally surprised from what I find. Tonight I received a Google Alert from a site that wrote about my husband! Here is a link. Apparently my husband wrote them way back in 2005, but someone recently answered. Funny what will come up in Google Alerts!

And here is what was said:

A friendly person, Ken Spector, sent me an email with additional information about "epicaricacy" after having noticed the discussion in the LEO forum:

You folks have discussed the word 'epicaricacy', at these two spots on the web:
related discussion:epicaricacy - schadenfreude

One of the comments was, "I almost suspect this word was coined/invented recently." I can give you some more data.

The word appears in most of the editions of Nathaniel Bailey's dictionary. Bailey's dictionary was highly respected, was published and republished for about 50 years starting in 1721, and was Samuel Johnson's basic word-list from which he prepared his dictionary, acknowledged to be the master.

Linguist Joseph T. Shipley included it in his Dictionary of Early English (1963), citing Bailey.

Our bulletin board has discussed this repeatedly over many months, as new information is found. You'll find the most recent discussion here:

The word is not OED as listed term being defined -- but it is in one of there sample quotes for another word. Here's their first quotation for 'shadenfeude', from 1852; the citation also uses 'epicaricacy', spelling it in greek letters.

1852 R. C. TRENCH Study of Words (ed. 3) II. 29 What a fearful thing is it that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing. And yet in more than one such a word is found... In the Greek έπιχαρεκακία, in the German, ‘Schadenfreude’.

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