My feed

to access all these features

Pedants' corner

Jealousy and envy are not synonymous.

117 replies

Habbibu · 27/11/2008 13:57

They really aren't. They're verging on being opposite, in fact. I suspect that they will become synonymous, actually, but while I can rant about it, I will.

OP posts:
Threadworrm · 27/11/2008 14:02

It is a good point and I am glad you had the enhusiasm to mention it. In fact I am envious of your jealous protection of the meaning of 'jealous'.

Habbibu · 27/11/2008 14:07

OP posts:
Threadworrm · 27/11/2008 14:10

chunkychips · 27/11/2008 14:17

I always think of envy being a kinder emotion than jealousy. As in, if I was jealous of something somebody else had and I couldn't have, I would be pleased if it was taken away from them. In the case of envy I wouldn't mind too much if they had it, but wished I could have it too. If that makes sense.

Habbibu · 27/11/2008 14:23

No, that's my point, chunky - jealous refers to wanting to keep what you already have - so a jealous husband doesn't want anyone else near his wife. An envious husband may want (or covet) as thready so eloquently put it, someone else's wife. He could, I suppose be envious AND jealous, but they relate to two different things.

OP posts:
chunkychips · 27/11/2008 14:46

I see. My dictionary doesn't help. jealousy - 1. a jealous attitude or disposition 2. close vigilance!

Habbibu · 27/11/2008 14:50

I suspect that jealousy is losing much of its original meaning, and will come to be synonymous with envy soon. But I don't have to like it.

OP posts:
Threadworrm · 27/11/2008 15:11

Why not stop the rot by petioning MN for a separate, very distinct, [jealous] emoticon?

It should be a blend of the appearence od [ency] and [anger] -- not that jealously is lierally such a blend, but I suspect that envy and anger are often present in a jealous person.

Jealousy, btw, is the emotion I feel scaredest of in any potential dp. It is also (hurrah!!) a vice I don't have, whereas I am quite prone to envy.

Threadworrm · 27/11/2008 15:12

"appearence od [ency]"

--pile-up of typos.

should be

appearance of

IorekByrnison · 27/11/2008 15:14

Yes - I was thinking about this while reading the thread where the rich people who didn't want to pay so much tax were accusing the less rich (who wanted them to pay more) of being jealous of their wealth. "Au contraire" I longed to write "you are jealous of your own wealth". But I didn't feel it would play well in that arena.

Habbibu · 27/11/2008 15:15

I tend to much more jealous than I am envious. Neither is pretty. But I realise that my jealousy is irrational and unfounded, so it's pretty harmless and doesn't last - it's when that's not realised that it becomes very dangerous.

OP posts:
Habbibu · 27/11/2008 15:16

Wish you had, Iorek. It would have been marvellous: "so THAT's what you from an expensive education, huh?"

OP posts:
Habbibu · 27/11/2008 15:17

Thready, I may be the only MNer who has never ever used emoticons.

OP posts:
Threadworrm · 27/11/2008 15:17
Swedes · 27/11/2008 15:18

Shouldn't the jealous emoticon be someone feasting on their own vomit?

hullygully · 27/11/2008 15:19

No, nor me neither. I feel that like the exclamation mark they are de trop. One should be able to express oneself without the need for pictorial representation. I am jealous of my ability in that regard and envy not those who make free with faces.

Habbibu · 27/11/2008 15:20

Wouldn't that be the severe-personality-and-eating-disorder-and-oh-yes-just-a-bit-jealous-too emoticon?

OP posts:
Threadworrm · 27/11/2008 15:20

And the envy-icon could be someone lusting after soneone else's vomit.

StarlightMcKenzie · 27/11/2008 15:20

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Habbibu · 27/11/2008 15:21

hully, do you think someone may be able to remove said ability?

I do use exclamation marks, but hate their over-use. I use ellipses like they're going out of fashion, mind...

OP posts:
GrimmaTheNome · 27/11/2008 15:22

'I am a jealous God' doesn't make any sense if you don't retain the distinction (given that he ruled against covetousness, which is not-quite-synonymous with envy but similar.

Can you imagine... 'ooh, I'm so jealous, my DS didn't get a private education'

Habbibu · 27/11/2008 15:23

Envious, starlight. If you were Michael Palin, and he wouldn't let some woman and her 2 dcs join him on his trip, you would be jealously guarding your privilege.

OP posts:
Habbibu · 27/11/2008 15:24

Indeed, Grimma. "I am an envious God" really doesn't work.

OP posts:
hullygully · 27/11/2008 15:24

They try to frequently.

Starlight - you are envious.

Ellipses are quite lovely. I am also over partial to the semi colon.

IorekByrnison · 27/11/2008 15:25

Yes. They are not nice unless very well used. I used them a lot when I first came to mumsnet in a vain attempt to fit in, but found myself more and more disgusting as I did so.

I often feel frustrated in my need to express great amusement though, and sometimes resort to a grin. I'm not happy about it though.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.