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?


Kalleh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kalleh said...

Sorry - I made a mistake in the comment above, but couldn't figure out how to edit it, so I deleted it and am starting over.

Interestingly, Quinion has answered me that he was trying to say, though perhaps too "obliquely," that epicaricacy is just as valid a word as "schadenfreude" is. Somehow, I didn't get that from his post. He did thank me for pointing out the entry in Baileys's and wasn't sure how he had missed it.

Kalleh said...

Well, heck, more mistakes, but I don't know how to edit comments. Is there a way? Sorry about the Baileys's.

phann son said...

I would tend to trust Ammon Shea on lexicographical matters, just in terms of sheer number of hours spent reading dictionaries

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