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#103713 - 05/21/03 03:14 AM Re: epicaricacy  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
I considered a possible epicurean connection as well, but a search turned up no word for that either. I think you've come up with something with epikairos though--good work, Bingley. prolly one of them inkhorn terms...


#103714 - 05/21/03 02:54 PM Re: epicaricacy  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
just for grins, I wrote the help desk at the MPL and asked about the word. here is the (suspicions confirmed) response:
In reply to:


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 at
least 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.



#103715 - 05/21/03 07:41 PM Re: epicaricacy  
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Jackie Offline
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You might have to trust Mrs. Byrne here.
Oh, no, I don't! Hrmph. Atomica found a few listings for me, some of which were no longer available (the most promising, of course), and none of which gave any citation; indeed, some had the exact wording of Mrs. B. However, I'm going to give a Univ. of Georgia link, because it has a list of "books for logophiles" at the top. Epicaricacy is given about 11/12ths. of the way down the page, in ext. 62.
http://www.coe.uga.edu/~smago/Vocabulary_Games/Appendixes.pdf


#103716 - 05/21/03 08:22 PM Re: epicaricacy  
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Jackie, could you copy the relevant part here? My acrobat reader isn't wanting to read.


#103717 - 05/21/03 08:34 PM Re: epicaricacy  
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this too shall pass
>a list of "books for logophiles"

one of the sources for this document is Mrs. B--we come full circle.


#103718 - 05/21/03 09:20 PM Re: epicaricacy  
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Maybe she's just having a bit of a laff ...


#103719 - 05/21/03 09:40 PM Re: epicaricacy  
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Before I'd harrumph Mrs. Byrne, I'd make sure I was her equal in what she had researched. Or even approximately her equal. Now tsuwm--tsuwm's probably got the right to harrumph Mrs. Byrne in that he at least has files on words and has researched so many. But how many of us here have endeavored to put together files and have studied our files for dictionary references? And how many of us here have published lexicons? Mrs. Byrne may be eccentric--but I don't think she tried to put forth her lexicon as anything but eccentric. Before you go around harrumphing Mrs. Byrne in a superior-than-thou way, go and publish your own lexicon for the public to criticize. Harrumph, indeed.

Just my little bitty, n'er-fare-you-well, inconsequential opinion. I'm just sick to death of all this superiority by people who haven't jumped a single hoop.




#103720 - 05/21/03 10:07 PM Re: epicaricacy  
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this too shall pass
>Maybe she's just having a bit of a laff ...

...and enjoying our frustration?! :0)


#103721 - 05/22/03 12:13 AM Better that harrumph  
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dear WW!


#103722 - 05/22/03 03:09 PM Re: epicaricacy, or trusting Mrs. B  
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this too shall pass
I don't want to make too big a deal out of this (read: at least he didn't start a new thread), but I think it is worth making a couple of points.

1. it's hard to find any source without some errors--at least some typos--always remembering they may not be the fault of the lexicographer. (consider Mrs. B's own "hit with a fish" [ycliu])

2. it's not always easy to avoid perpetrating errors from your source material. I know this well myself, and it's why I try to always have two(2) reliable sources--but these people steal indiscriminately from each other!

3. [see #2] there are snares and traps out there just waiting for the most sedulous and incredulous lexicographer. take, for example the word zzxjoanw which Mrs. B. defines as "a maori drum". I've come to learn (correct me if *this is wrong, max) that zzxjoanw is a "ghost word"; i.e., there ain't no such word. ghost words get in to the most prestigious dictionaries. [see the story of "dord" in W2*]
http://wordways.com/ghost.htm

4. there seems to be a streak of recreancy in word boffins. Charles Elster tells me there are two mistakes in his There's a Word for It!, but he won't tell me what they are!?

anyway, for all of these reasons, plus my natural skepticism, I tend to think "maybe it's epicuricacy.." when I can't find epicaricacy in another source.

*here is the W3 entry for "ghost word":
an accidental word form never in established usage; especially : one arising from an editorial or typographical error or a mistaken pronunciation (as phantomnation or dord)
at least they caught the errors in W2 and removed them!

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