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I recently saw this question on another board:
quote:
here's another of those mystery words..

epicaricacy can be found in Mrs. Byrne's dictionary, defined as 'taking pleasure in others' misfortune'--an actual English synonym for schadenfreude?! but I haven't found it anywhere else (except for those online lists that parrot Mrs. B.), or been able to discover anything about its etymology.

We discussed this word in our German thread. However, I was wondering if anyone has ever seen it used? Is it perhaps more commonly used in England? Or elsewhere?

[This message was edited by Kalleh on Wed May 21st, 2003 at 14:25.]
 
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Never come across it here, Kalleh, so I think it's a word which has died out.
 
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Or perhaps the person who posted it had the spelling wrong?

Tadpole
 
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> Or perhaps the person who posted it had the spelling wrong?

Kalleh's link indicates a published source. Anybody have access to an OED?
 
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I looked in a number of dictionaries including the Oxford English Dictionary and I didn't find this word either. We do have a reference copy of "Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words" from 1974. Epicaricacy is defined on page 67 as a noun which means "taking pleasure in others' misfortune." The Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines schadenfreude as "satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune."

In the editor's introduction to Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary, this claim is made: "Incredible as it may seem, every entry in this book, even the most
ludicrous has been accepted as a formal or legitimate English word by atleast one major dictionary."

At the end of the book there is a bibliography of about 85 sources. The problem is that a source isn't given for each entry.

I checked our catalog and we do have a few of the sources, but since this is a dictionary of "unusual, obscure, and preposterous words" "epicaricacy" might turn out to be very difficult to find. You might have to trust Mrs.
Byrne here.

AskUs
Minneapolis Public Library



someone else posted this:
From a clue in one of the pieces on Julian Burnside's site, I have found in LSJ (http://makeashorterlink.com/?P229134A4) the Greek word epikairos meaning seasonable, opportune, advantageous. Kakos is the Greek for bad (cacophany). So epicaricacy could be a coinage for finding bad things opportune.
 
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tsuwm, take a look at the link you can click in Kalleh's post atop this thread. (Underlined words here are links; that's the only way this software permits underlining.) Quoting a bit more from the same source she cites:
quote:
Sadly, epicaricacy has been unfairly neglected over the years. Numerous modern English dictionaries make no mention of it; meanwhile, they see fit to include the German word schadenfreude (same definition), apparently for the sole reason that it fills a void in our language! The fact is, long before schadenfreude wormed its way into the lexicon, there existed an English word for the exact same concept. Epicaricacy ... has appeared in many old and esteemed dictionaries. Yet the word is now largely ignored in favor of a foreign interloper.
 
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>Underlined words here are links...

so *that's why my link was underlined! Wink
 
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quote:
Anybody have access to an OED?
I first found this word in that Novobatzky and Shea's "Depraved and Insulting English" book, and at the time I had looked for it in OED. According to that book, it had been in earlier dictionaries and that is probably why Mrs. Byrnes was able to use it.

[This message was edited by Kalleh on Sat May 24th, 2003 at 10:38.]
 
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I wonder if Mrs. Byrne was one of Novobotsky's sources. If not, one could compare the two bibliographies and narrow the search (if one were really desperate to find the origin).

edit: oh dear, I'm not sure that Mrs. B would be considered a "respected dictionary"--consider the zzxjoanw kerfuffle. (I don't know if that's come up here..)

[This message was edited by tsuwm on Fri May 23rd, 2003 at 15:16.]
 
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Perhaps (or maybe I should say "prehaps" for the Brits?) Mrs. Byrne was his source. While the authors, I agree, gave no specific resources for this word, the authors did say that it was a perfectly acceptable word in older, respected dictionaries. Therefore, I have some homework to do. I am going to look in some older dictionaries to see if I can find it.
 
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Novobatzky and Shea include a bibliography of about 75 works, so it's not suprising that Mrs. Bryne's (1974) is one of them. Most of the works are more recent, of course, but quite a few of them are earlier, some going back before 1800.

My guess is that N&S's source was not Mrs. Byrne, for their entry is far more extensive than hers.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by tsuwm:
>Underlined words here are links...

so *that's why my link was underlined! Wink

Yes, tsuwm, however with our software there is no reason to redirect the link through "Make A Shorter Link" software. Just use the "URL" button below to make a direct link and it will save time to those pressing on that link. They won't have to wait for MASL to redirect.
 
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quote:
My guess is that N&S's source was not Mrs. Byrne, for their entry is far more extensive than hers
I agree....unless there was some Jayson Blairing going on. Big Grin
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordnerd:
Anybody have access to an OED?

I use my computer at home to access the OED Online through my local library.

Tinman
 
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It is not in the Shorter OED.
Or Chambers.
Or Collins.

Also, please forgive me my errors and mistakes here, I am still getting used to the way things go here. Sorry.
Red Face

Tadpole
 
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First, Tadpole (I just love your name Wink), of course you are forgiven. We try not to nitpick here. However, secondly, I haven't noticed any errors!

Thanks for checking out the Chambers Dictionary; you saved me a trip. While Novobatzky and Shea did not give the specific source(s) for this word, they do say, "Numerous modern English dictionaries make no mention of it; they see fit to include the German word schadenfreude (same definition), apparently for the sole reason that it fills a void in our language! The fact is, long before schadenfreude wormed its way into the lexicon, there existed an English word for the exact same concept. Epicaricacy has a noble lineage, coming form the Greek roots of epi (upon) + chara (joy) + kakon (evil). And it has appeared in many old and esteemed dictionaries. Yet the word is now largely ignored in favor of a foreign interloper."

There are 74 sources in the bibliography, and 17 were written prior to 1900; of those, 5 are from the 1700s and 1 from the 1600s. Obviously the local libraries don't have those early dictionaries. I would just love to find this word, if in fact it was cited somewhere!
 
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Kalleh, based on tsuwm's suggestion of last Friday we can cut some items off the list of 17 (assuming that both N&S and Mrs. Bryne had the same source). Also, the N&S book is a combination of two previous by N&S: perhaps epicaricacy appears in only one of those two, with a shorter bib.

Let's try!
 
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I just had the pleasure of talking on the phone with Ammon Shea, co-author of the book which lists epicaricacy, and got the story of where it was found. But it's his story, and so he should have the hono(u)r of posting it.
 
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Hello all, this is my first time here (I was drawn in by questions regarding the authenticity of epicaricacy). To the best of my knowledge the word first appeared in Nathaniel Bailey's Universal Etymological English Dictionary. I think that the first edition was published in 1727 and it went through 20 or 22 subsequent editions. He spells the word differently and defines it thusly: Epicharikaky - A joy at the misfortunes of others. The etymology is from the Greek epi (upon) + chara (joy) + kakon (evil). I have seen it in a number of other books with what appears to be the modernized spelling. I can't remember all of these sources off the top of my head but aside of Mrs. Byrnes it also appears in a book of obscure words by Paul Dickson. I think Joseph Shipley may have it in his Dictionary of Early English.
I'm hardly a scholar in such matters but I would say that the words in Bailey's Dictionary are rarely hapax, imaginary or inkhorns. Although he compiled his dictionary shortly after the inkhorn craze of Phillips, Blount and Bullokar he seems to have taken a somewhat more grounded approach to compiling his word list and would see no reason to doubt the authenticity of the word.
I look forward to taking place in future discussions.
 
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Your presence adds to our rich inventory of assets.

~~~ jerry
 
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quote:
I'm hardly a scholar in such matters but I would say that the words in Bailey's Dictionary are rarely hapax, imaginary or inkhorns.
You are indeed a scholar, and we are so honored to hear from you. Welcome to our forum! Wink Big Grin Smile Cool
 
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Welcome Ammon! So wonderful to have your expert information here. Hope to see many more posts.
 
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Allow me to add my name to the welcoming committee especially since you are the first new poster in the last dozen or so who hasn't been within walking distance of London. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Your above post prompts me to offer you a position on my staff of crack English experts who are presently rewriting the OED, a much venerated work but one much in need of some good old-fashioned American knowhow and Yankee ingenuity. Being from Brooklyn (4th largest U.S. city 100 years ago, correct?) you qualify on both counts.

CJ REE
 
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quote:
Originally posted by C J Strolin:
Your above post prompts me to offer you a position on my staff of crack English experts who are presently rewriting the OED, a much venerated work but one much in need of some good old-fashioned American knowhow and Yankee ingenuity.
CJ REE


as a neophyte here, I can only presume that this was said tongue-in-cheek, but it is interesting to note that Jesse Sheidlower (formerly of Random House and "Jesse's Word of the Day") is now Principle Editor of the The North American Editorial Unit of the OED, which "is the only office outside of Oxford. There are a few reasons; one is that American English is more productive than other varieties; and another is that other Englishes have more resources than American English available." (The quote is from a 'chat' with Jesse on Memorial Day.)

One of the more interesting things he had to say is that OED3 is in process, online, and currently scheduled to be about a 20-year effort. The liklihood of there being a hard copy of the resulting (virtual) 40 volumes made available is small.

edit: I should add that this office is located in NYC

[This message was edited by Sarah on Wed May 28th, 2003 at 13:20.]
 
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...it's intriguing to see that the OED North American Editorial Unit has been deemed to be in need of a separate Editor of its Principles... Wink
 
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quote:
as a neophyte here, I can only presume that this was said tongue-in-cheek...

Most definitely.

Being from the U. S. of A., I have an inate love of puns, running gags, and audacity, not necessarily in that order. A recurring minor theme that occasionally pops up in various threads deals with the brash upstart Yank taking it upon himself to "correct" the OED or the works of Shakespeare or whatever. If my tongue were any further in cheek, I'd choke.

The tip-off is the "REE" in the signature which stands for "Resident Expert in Everything," a title awarded me by a fellow poster in, I suspect, a somewhat sarcastic vein but one which I wear with honor. It appears particularly when I want to assure readers that whatever preceeds it is not meant to be taken overly-seriously.
 
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I am in a profession where acronyms and abbreviations are rampant. To me REE means "resting energy expenditure"! Wink
 
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quote:
To me REE means "resting energy expenditure"!


To me "CJ REE" is a thinly veiled but wise passing of the buck.

It's pronounced "See Jer-ry," and it acknowledges Mr. Strolin's yielding at length to superior strength. Big Grin

Eek

Razz

~~~ jerry Roll Eyes
 
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quote:
Originally posted by C J Strolin:
... Being from Brooklyn (4th largest U.S. city 100 years ago, correct?) ...




Named after Breukelen just south of Amsterdam!
 
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Really, Bear? I certainly didn't know that. Many of the eastern cities seem to be named after places in England, though I am not from the east and could easily be wrong about that.

As far as REE--I think of the title of my dissertation whenever I see CJ post it: "Does REE Predict Sepsis in Critically Ill Patients?" I think perhaps he does! Wink
 
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"Does
REE Predict Sepsis in Critically Ill Patients?"
================================================

So what do you make of BMR? I think it means, "Bowel Movement Regularity." Irregularity leads to sepsis, no? Roll Eyes

As for Dutch names, They are more common than one might think in the USA. F'rinstance, Spring Mills, a cotton products maker in South Carolina, was started by some distant relatives of mine named Springsteen who were chased outa New Amsterdam by those pesky British.

For those who enjoy French-bashing, as is all too common in the USA today, they should consider that three of the states in the USA were named for French kings: both Carolinas, and Louisiana.

Asa the target of rednecks driving Chevrolets shod with Michelins Wink
 
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I thought the REE in CJ REE stood for Rare Earth Element.

Tinman
 
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Or--Real Eerie Elf! Wink
 
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CJ has four degrees: Chris Strolin, BS, MS, PhD, REE

BS = [If you need me to give you BS, here is a suitably academic essay.]
MS = More of the Same
PhD = Piled Higher & Deeper
REE - Ridiculously Extravagant Erudition
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
"Does REE Predict Sepsis in Critically Ill Patients?"

No, but I am predicting Brazil in the next World Cup, scattered showers throughout most of the London suburbs this weekend, and a resurgence of the Big Band Era.

And thanks, J.T., for screwing up my acronym! Very clever, yes, BUT do I really strike you as someone prone to passing the buck, linguistically, intellectually, or otherwise? Answer in the affirmative and I just may go back to declaring myself Emperor again!
 
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In case some of you don't subscribe, "Epicaricacy" was the Worthless Word for the Day today (for new people that link is in our Links for Linguaphiles forum), with this quote:

"the worthless word for the day is: epicaricacy

/ep"-i-kar-ik'-i-see/
taking pleasure in other's misfortune: schadenfreude

this word, as defined in Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of
Unusual... Words, has caused a lot of discussion
recently 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? this question has yet to
be answered, 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 others".

the Minnesota Historical Society has a 1751 edition of
Bailey; unfortunately it was too brittle for me to
photocopy.

---

on a completely unrelated note, I learned today that
the wwftd site is mentioned in the June edition of
"The Writer", and I quote: Not so worthless.

-tsuwm "
 
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On our Saturday chat we were graced with a visit by museamuse...a poster from awhile back, for you newbies. Muse lives in Athens, Greece, and she is a translator. I asked her about "epicaricacy," and she said that she does know the word "chairekakia," which means taking pleasure from another's misfortune. It sounds and looks familiar, right? Then, jheem added that in classical Greek the word has an "epi-" prefix. jheem went on to say that Aristotle used the word "epichairekakia."

Now it looks as though the word "epichairekakia" got misspelled in Bailey's dictionary. However, it is clear that "epichairekakia" was around before "schadenfreude." I looked the former up in OED and don't remember the exact date it was first reported, but it was sometime in the 1800s.
 
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I couldn't find epichairekakia in the OED Online, but I did find schadenfreude. The earkiest citation was from 1852:

schadenfreude

Malicious enjoyment of the misfortunes of others.

[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 _____ , in the German, ‘Schadenfreude’.

The word that's supposed to be in the blank didn't transfer. It was in Greek letters, and I can't read Greek. But using this source I made out the letters to be epsilon, pi, iota, chi, alpha, iota, rho, epsilon, kappa, alpha, kappa, iota, alpha, which I suspect is epichairekakia.

Of course, the OED's citations are the earliest known written recordings of words. It is fair to assume that words exist before they are written down in a format that will be preserved.

Tinman
 
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You didn't find epichairekakia in the OED because, unlike schadenfreude, it's a foreign word that never made its way into English. It's like French merde the meaning of which many anglophones know, but which is still a French word. Poppycock, OTOH, is no longer a Dutch word, but has been fully naturalized (phonologically) and its meaning tweaked.
 
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Hmmm, here we go again... Wink

First, it looks like he did find it, though it was written in Greek.

Secondly, "schadenfreude" is a German word, in the same way that "epichairekakia" is a Greek word (deja vu?)
 
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Here's how it breaks down:

"Rodeo" is a Spanish word. It is also an English word used all the time here.

"Schadenfreude" is, yes, a German word although it is also now an English word as well, albeit one not often used.

"Epichairekakia" is a Greek word and not an English word. Not yet, anyway.

"Epicaricacy" is an English word but nobody uses it either because they aren't familiar with it or they prefer "schadenfreude" instead. In those rare instances where I need to use one of these terms, I must confess that I prefer the latter. (Sorry K.) In fact, if for some reason I didn't want to use "schadenfreude" with someone, I'd be very tempted to lay an "epichairekakia" on them.
 
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It all sounds very subjective to me, but then I guess it is. After all, it is human beings who write the OED or any other dictionary. By the way, is deja vu an English word?

After all, even your rodeo example isn't that simple. Here is what I found: "Spanish, corral, rodeo from rodear, to surround, from rueda, wheel, from Latin rota. See ret- in Indo-European Roots."
 
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quote:
By the way, is deja vu an English word?



Yup. Actually two words. What's wrong with rodeo? Just because it has a different meaning in Spanish than in English?
 
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Okay, I am getting it. If a word is in OED, it is an English word. If not, it isn't.

Nothing is wrong with "rodeo." It just has lots of varying roots. It is not that simple, that's all. My point being that no words are that simple. They often are linked to various roots, and somewhere along the line I do think there could be a human error with something lost in translation or whatever. Yet, since linguists define English words by what's in OED, then there really isn't any quality assurance here. The OED editors are always right. Period.

If I were to find some early English writing using "epicaricacy," or any derivation thereof, I would think the dictionaries should take note and add the word. That would especially be true were it found before the 1850s when that dastardly "schadenfreude" took over. By the way, "schadenfreude" may have first been used in the 1850s, but it didn't become known until around the middle of the 20th century.
 
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Okay, I am getting it. If a word is in OED, it is an English word. If not, it isn't.


No, there are words that aren't in the OED, or weren't. As I mentioned to you earlier, appendicitis didn't make it into the first edition of the OED. It made it into the supplements because of Edward VI's case.

quote:
Nothing is _wrong_ with "rodeo." It just has lots of varying roots. It is not that simple, that's all. My point being that no words are that simple. They often are linked to various roots, and somewhere along the line I do think there could be a human error with something lost in translation or whatever. Yet, since linguists define English words by what's in OED, then there really isn't any quality assurance here. The OED editors are always right. Period.


Sorry, I didn't understand you. Rodeo's a word not because it's in the OED or not, but because it is a word that folks use. Sometimes in my presence. It has little to do with where it came from or how it got into those individual speaker's vocabularies. Linguists traditionally have had a hard time defining what a word is.

The problem with the E-word, is that I cannot find it in any current dictionary. The only examples come from some popular word books that give no authorities for its wordhood and a dictionary that is no longer used very much by anybody. Though, the editors of the OED had access to Bailey's dictionary, they chose not to include it in their dictionary. You say by oversight. I assume because its wordhood was in doubt.

If you really like the E-word. Use it, and get your friends to use it. And that's that. Soon it will be a word. But the way I look at it now, it's kind of like me saying "gorp" means wristwatch and then getting defensive when other people express their doubts about "gorp"'s wordhood.

quote:
If I were to find some early English writing using "epicaricacy," or any derivation thereof, I would think the dictionaries should take note and add the word. That would especially be true were it found before the 1850s when that dastardly "schadenfreude" took over. By the way, "schadenfreude" may have first been used in the 1850s, but it didn't become known until around the middle of the 20th century.


Yes, I've said this from the beginning. Show me the word in context being used by somebody, and then we have to determine that the author wasn't just pulling our legs with a non-word like "gorp".

But as I've said earlier keep up the good fight. Don't back down, and trust nobody over 130 years of age.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jheem:
...and then we have to determine that the author wasn't just pulling our legs with a non-word like "gorp".

I must object!

Unlike "epicaricacy" (Sorry, K.) "gorp" is a perfectly respectable term for high-carb, high-energy trail mix, particularly the homemade kind, popular with hikers, campers, and other outdoorsy types. I'm told the word may have come into being as an acronym for "Good Old Raisins and Peanuts," two of gorp's primary ingredients. Some misguided individuals will throw M&Ms or, worse, carob bits into the mix in an effort to make the gorp more palatable. These miscreants need to be watched closely.


On a semi-related note: Am I the only one taking a bit of perverse pleasure in the difficulty Kalleh is having trying to legitimize "epicaricacy"? My apologies. I guess it's just a case of schadenfreude on my part...
 
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"Gorp" is a word, right, jheem? Were you just using it as an example? Are there other words that you don't consider to be words, jheem?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jheem:
The problem with the E-word, is that I cannot find it in any current dictionary. The only examples come from some popular word books that give no authorities for its wordhood and a dictionary that is no longer used very much by anybody. Though, the editors of the OED had access to Bailey's dictionary, they chose not to include it in their dictionary. You say by oversight. I assume because its wordhood was in doubt.

Ah, but it is in the OED Online under the entry schadenfreude, as I mentioned in my Mar. 1 post.

quote:
Yes, I've said this from the beginning. Show me the word in context being used by somebody, and then we have to determine that the author wasn't just pulling our legs with a non-word like "gorp".


I was going to mention that gorp is a word, but C J beat me to it. Note that gorp (second definition) is also used in computing as a metasyntactic variable. Is that what you were referring to when you called it a "non-word"?

Tinman

[This message was edited by tinman on Fri Mar 5th, 2004 at 0:19.]
 
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Says CJ:
quote:
Am I the only one taking a bit of perverse pleasure in the difficulty Kalleh is having trying to legitimize "epicaricacy"?
No, I am taking no pleasure whatsoever. In fact I am bored stiff with the whole subject.
 
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quote:
"Gorp" is a word, right, jheem? Were you just using it as an example? Are there other words that you don't consider to be words, jheem?


Kalleh-- Sorry, I made a mistake. I did not check the dictionary before posting. I chose a non-word (to me) at random, and with my luck, it turned out to be a word. Replace "gorp" with "zgaiouckx" in the post above.

There are many other "words" that I don't consider to be words. See "zgaiouckx" above. You want other ones? Why? (BTW, "zgaiouckx" means "the manner in which hairs on one's arm slowly come to attention after one removes one's wristwatch." It's only used by anglophones in Novaya Zemlya during the brief summer time. I may start promoting it.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is there is no one, single, unified method for determining whether some string of letters is a word in language X. The father of dialectology, Jules Gillieron [1854-1926] had a saying: "Chaque mot a son histoire." (Every word has its history.) It's a goodly maxim. I've given my reasons why I don't consider the E-word to be an English word, and you've given yours why it is, or should be. Let's just agree to disagree and drop it.

quote:
Ah, but it is in the OED Online under the entry schadenfreude, as I mentioned in my Mar. 1 post.


Tinman-- Sorry, no, but epichairekakia which is a word, though a Greek one, is in the OED. Epicaricacy, which is the non-word championed by Kalleh, is not. When I type "E-word", I mean the latter, not the former.

[This message was edited by jheem on Fri Mar 5th, 2004 at 7:37.]

[This message was edited by jheem on Fri Mar 5th, 2004 at 7:39.]
 
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