Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Word Up Wednesday: Envy

I see envy confused with jealousy a lot. Jealousy means you fear the loss of something (that you usually already have), or are insecure about it being taken away. But people commonly use jealousy to mean that they want something, as in, "I'm jealous of those gozongas, even though I am perfectly beautiful as I am."

Envy is the word we mean. Observe: I envy those of you on THAT side of the agent/publishing deal. I envy people with trust funds or other sources of independent wealth. (I would envy my Nemesis, but in fact it is impossible to envy someone so detestable.) I envy the total lack of responsibility that my house-bound cats feel. I envy those who have a full view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am NOT envious of anyone who does not have health care and I am sorry that people don't. ( I got the statement in the mail from the hospital for that unpleasant and sad surgical procedure I had some months ago. $12,000. My responsibility? A $100 co-pay. That's it. My insurance pays the rest. Cripes.) I am not envious of anyone who doesn't have the time or stamina or materials or ability to follow their dreams. (The list of what I am not envious of is quite large so I won't go on.)

The word envy generally carries a negative connotation, hence its position on the list of seven deadly sins. Envy infers that you resent another person for having something you perceive as lacking in yourself, and wish the other person to be deprived of it. Observe: my nemesis envies my striking beauty, wit, and cunning, and that has clouded his judgment so much that he has not noticed the army of marmots I sent his way to undermine his plots. (A tiny example.)

Were you using the word jealousy improperly? I've done it loads of times even while knowing that envy is the word. What are you envious of? What are you not envious of?

Bonus link for you: Pet Shop Boys' Jealousy


Tina Lynn said...

Yes, milady, methinks I was using it improperly. Look at you, making the world a better place by teaching idiots like me proper word usage ;)

Lola Sharp said...

I envy people that love exercise and dislike sweets.

Happy Humpday!

Lt. Cccyxx said...

This is a great post because I was using "jealousy" improperly to mean "envy". Also, your little quote so perfectly captions the picture.

Could someone do me a favor and use "jealous" or "jealousy" in a sentence properly? I'm having trouble seeing how it would work.

Indigo said...

Thanks for the refresher course. I might have used the term loosely here and there. (Hugs)Indigo

Julie Dao said...

LOL at the picture!! I mix up jealousy and envy all the time, and I know a lot of people use them as synonyms. Thanks for the clarification!

DL Hammons said...

Guilty! You've just breast...I mean understanding of the word jealous. What a boob I am! If mammary...I mean memory...serves me, I've been mis-using it for quite awhile.

Well...I'm not going to let it get my knockers...I mean a bunch!!


Sierra Godfrey said...

Ha! Tina, you are many things, but an idiot isn't one of them.

Lt. -- here's one. "I am jealous of the attention my boyfriend spends on that hot babe at work."

Indigo -- thanks for commenting! Hi!

Julie -- I mix them up too still.

Don -- very funny :) I don't quite know how it is that we can't see Jayne's nipples in that picture since that dress is as low as you can go.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

SO behind on my reader. I've missed you this week!!

Lt. Cccyxx said...

Thanks Sierra. Now I see.

Simon C. Larter said...

You're just trying to assuage your chagrin over your epic defeat in Jane's weekly Twitter round-up by telling yourself I'm detestable. You know I'm the charming type of nemesis, and if you weren't bent on my destruction, you'd totes want to hang out at my office with the full view of the Golden Gate bridge and drink scotch and talk about football (the real kind).

Plus, my pack of patrolling Dobermans ate your marmots. I'm mad about that, as the dogs had gas for days. What do you feed your marmots, anyway?

Sierra Godfrey said...

Nem - I fed the marmots explosive fuel laced with a special Doberman poison in anticipation of them being eaten by your plan worked accordingly. And anyway I never noticed you in Jane's list cause I was only looking at how shiny my name was on it. You may be charming and we might discuss real football while drinking Harp (I prefer beer over scotch). But I shall never forget my (or your) master plan.

Meghan Ward said...

Wait - so how is jealous used in a sentence? I've definitely been using them synonymously. And what a great picture. I love Sophia Loren. AND congrats on 100+ followers!

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