The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Can happiness and joy be used together? Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 7:39:29 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 2,778
Neurons: 11,286
Life was filled with happiness and joy when I was pregnant with my first child.

Can happiness and joy be used together?

Thanks.
pjharvey
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 9:49:57 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/13/2012
Posts: 795
Neurons: 48,345
Why not? The two words are not perfect synonyms, they have slightly different meanings.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 10:18:13 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,342
Neurons: 40,648
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Koh, as Drago and I are constantly pointing out: = We call words SYNONYMS, not EXACTONYMS.

Words - like 'joy' and 'happiness' - can have SIMILAR meanings; but they don't mean EXACTLY the same thing. Half the English language would be totally unnecessary if they all meant the same thing as other words.

I think many ESL learners are not told HOW to use a Thesaurus. So many seem to have the idea that you can just look a word up in a synonym-finder and take your pick of alternative words to use. They think all the words mean the same thing.

So yes Joy AND happiness can go in the same sentence: - they are SYNONYMS because both describe a very positive, common feelings we all have or wish for each other. But both words describe two different feelings. The differences are very subtle.

Orson Burleigh
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 10:19:14 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/12/2011
Posts: 158
Neurons: 61,500
Location: Annapolis, Maryland, United States
Koh Elaine wrote:
Life was filled with happiness and joy when I was pregnant with my first child.

Can happiness and joy be used together?

Thanks.


The short answer is yes.

Though there is a substantial element of redundancy to the use of joy and happiness in the same sentence, this pairing is a common locution, one which is used by educated speakers and by well-regarded writers.

The pairing of happiness and joy is a survivor in modern English of what was, in middle English, a larger group of frequently paired equivalent terms which had disparate roots in old English (hap, happy, happiness) and in medieval French (joy, joyous).
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 10:55:05 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,342
Neurons: 40,648
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Orson -

But would you not agree that very few pairings have exactly the same meanings? The reason the 'foreign' word was admitted into the common lexus was because, in the transition, those foreign words acquire a different nuance.

Which is why they co-existed with local forms; rather than either rendering the other obsolete?

(I've just written a post about Thesaurus use by - it seems - a vast proportion of English learners. That, perhaps, led to me beating the same drum again)
Koh Elaine
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 11:41:01 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 2,778
Neurons: 11,286
Thanks to all of you.
Orson Burleigh
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 12:16:40 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/12/2011
Posts: 158
Neurons: 61,500
Location: Annapolis, Maryland, United States
Romany wrote:

Orson -

But would you not agree that very few pairings have exactly the same meanings? The reason the 'foreign' word was admitted into the common lexus was because, in the transition, those foreign words acquire a different nuance.

Which is why they co-existed with local forms; rather than either rendering the other obsolete?

(I've just written a post about Thesaurus use by - it seems - a vast proportion of English learners. That, perhaps, led to me beating the same drum again)


I do indeed agree that vanishingly few word pairings have will have exactly the same range of meanings at any point in their evolution. Overlapping pairings that survive and thrive will, in most cases, have offered useful variations in nuance.

Additions will often have been adopted because they offer some particularly useful nuance: Schadenfreude includes the German word freude (usually translated as joy) and schaden (harm) to convey in one word the unfortunately useful concept of finding joy in the misfortune of others. Schadenfreude is a new enough word in English to convey a frisson of foreignness, but is sufficiently known to allow for general usage.

As much as I appreciate the hub & spoke illustration used in TFD's new Thesaurus, I suspect that Venn diagrams might be a superior representation of how the meanings and nuances of words overlap. Ideally, there would be something like three dimensional or multi-dimensional Venn-like overlapping diagrams to illustrate changes in meanings of words, word convergence and divergence over time and variations in usage by socio-economic grouping or region. That would be an enormous project, perhaps one for a new generation of philologists and programmers.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 12:33:42 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,342
Neurons: 40,648
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

I am constantly thrilled over daily twitter information about all the amazing, wonderful, data-bases that are, indeed, making dreams like that come true! I sometimes wonder how different it must be for current and future scholars.

But to return like a homing-pigeon to the misconception about the use of a Thesaurus: - if generations of ESL students labour under the impression that they can just pick out any synonym and use it to replace the original word, it will result in more and more misunderstandings - social, political, cultural. Or else we'll all be back where we all started: with dozens of different languages that are mutually exclusive.

(As you can see - not shy about waxing dramatic!)
Parpar1836
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 6:33:27 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/30/2014
Posts: 133
Neurons: 8,191
Location: Rochester, New York, United States
Good discussion here . . . I'm learning too . . .

Have there been any threads about foreign words that have no English counterparts? One extremely useful word is Treppenwitz, which is roughly equivalent to the French esprit de l'escalier. The former can be clumsily translated "stair-wit," the latter "spirit of the steps."

They mean the witty rejoinder you could have made, but didn't think of until you left the party. I.e., on the steps going down. In other words, what you wished you had been able to say at the right time but didn't think of until too late. It's wonderful to sum that up in a single word or phrase.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2017 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.