Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Word Up Wednesday: Misanthropy

This week's word, the last of 2009, is misanthropy. This was used in a post by Nathan Bransford yesterday (in which he wrote about how authors can't afford to be misanthropes anymore and get away with it). When I read it, I thought that I would never have used that word, because I wouldn't have been able to pull it out of my arse, even in its current Christmas-chocolate size. And that's what I like about Word Up Wednesday--the opportunity to learn about $10 words and have them at the ready, even if I don't actually use them all the time.

So, a misanthrope is a person who generally dislikes, distrusts, is disgusted by, has contempt for, or hates other people. When I first read this, I was like "Oh CRIPES, I'm a total misanthrope!" But I don't dislike or hate all humans, just the nasty ones. The word originates from the Greek μίσος (misos, "hatred") and άνθρωπος ( anthrōpos, "man, human being"). It's closely related to misogynist, the hatred of women, which is a word I know and like to throw around when I'm being cantankerous. (I'm not sure if my cantankerousness relates to misanthropy, but I'm going to go with no.)

Other forms of misanthropy include misanthrope (to describe a person), misanthropic (to describe a state of being). Wikipedia offers, " presented as the result of thwarted expectations or even excess optimism." I found this graph that represents the level of misanthropy according to whether the person is an idealist or not. It very much follows on Socrates' assertion on the Wiki article that people get all misanthoropic-y after having high expectations that fail. So your lesson for today is to be on the lookout for becoming misanthropic after rejection. It's easy to hate others for your own failure to have a marketable concept, execute it well, and hit all the right plot points--especially if you can't see those mistakes.

My sentence:

If you go around letting the world see what a misanthrope you are, then you probably won't get many offers of pork chops dinners.

Thoughts? Sentences?


Travener said...

Elaine Benes: "I hate people."
Jerry Seinfeld: "People. They're the worst."

Sentence: "Misanthropy is a form of self-hatred."

Thought: Socrates was right.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Somehow I knew you'd like this one Travener. :)

Tina Lynn said...

What if I ONLY hate myself? What's the word for that? Huh, Trav?

You always the post the high profile words that I like to throw around here at the office so that people ontinue to believe that I am intelligent.

Tina Lynn said...

Ugh. My post posted itself somehow. Is there a word for people that hate computers? Anyhoo, the word above was supposed to be continue, and then, I was going to thank you for your epik Word Up Wednesday's :)

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Too many trips to Walmart could turn me into a misanthrope.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Roni....the very mention of Walmart turns me into a misanthrope! A misWalmarthrope.

Tina-- and I think it's epic with a c :) LOL

Tina Lynn said...

Epik is the teenage way of spelling it. They like to change things up, methinks.

Meredith Rae Morgan said...

My sentence:

I wouldn't be such a misanthrope if it weren't for all the idiot people I have to deal with!

[I'd love to say this is hyperbole, but that would be exaggerating.]

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