Monday, August 07, 2017

Jealousy or envy?

I am always careful to properly distinguish envy form jealousy but it seems I am being a Canute protesting to no avail against the flow of the age. For here is what the online OED says.

jealous -ADJECTIVE

1Feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages-.‘she was always jealous of me’
1.1 Feeling or showing a resentful suspicion that one's partner is attracted to or involved with someone else.-‘a jealous husband’
1.2 Fiercely protective of one's rights or possessions.-‘the men were proud of their achievements and jealous of their independence’
1.3 (of God) demanding faithfulness and exclusive worship

envy NOUN

1A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.-‘she felt a twinge of envy for the people on board’
1.1the envy of A person or thing that inspires envy.
‘France has a film industry that is the envy of Europe’

I have always argued that the first use of jealous above is really envy. But it seems the OED judges that my jealousy for proper English is a lost cause for 1 above is clearly exactly what I protest against. Jealousy should protect Envy covets. God is jealous. He envies no-one or nothing.

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