I haven’t written a blog post in years, but I want to re-connect with writing again. I thought the best first step would be to write a blog post about something that annoys me: the incorrect usage of jealous.
If you’ve watched any TV or movie from the USA, you’ll hear “jealous” get thrown around. Whenever I hear it misused, I want to tear out my dwarf beard and stuff it in my ears. (If only I had an actual dwarf beard to tear out, or store food it, or turn into a nest for birds.) The meaning of jealousy is that one is afraid of having something taken away. If a male character gets upset that his girlfriend is talking to another man, he would be jealous that the guy she told him not to worry about is going to take her away. Also, a dog can be angry at another when its human pets another pooch. Jealous in its true form is not restricted to human emotions.
Envy is when you want what someone else has. If someone has a better smart phone than you do, and you just want to slap them and take it, you’re envious. Homer Simpson is envious of Ned Flanders because Ned has a “better life.” Ned has the nicer home, the nicer family, and everything seems to go right for Flanders. Homer is NOT jealous of Ned, unless he was going to hit on Marge.
There is an example of this commonly used error that makes me cringe. I saw a story about how cheerleaders in the NFL were underpaid and overworked. I commented that the entire concept of cheerleaders was antiquated, and that the abuse was evidence of men placing a woman’s worth by her appearance. Some KAreN replied to me with, “YOu’RE jeALOus!”
Jealous of what, Karen? The cheerleaders aren’t trying to steal anything from my life. I presume she meant envious of the attention cheerleaders receive for being beautiful. This misuse of jealous still wakes me up at 3:00AM, even though I didn’t reply and instead replied to another comment that said that a lot of NFL teams were getting rid of cheerleaders.
Do you have any peeves when it comes to misuse of language? Let me know in a non-KAreN comment!