The prof concurs

I wrote about my worry over the misuse of jealous and envious, and didn't even think of checking out the English error site. But Arrogant Polyglot checked it out, and I found this explanation:

Although these are often treated as synonyms, there is a difference. You are envious of what others have that you lack. Jealousy, on the other hand, involves wanting to hold on to what you do have. You can be jealous of your boyfriend’s attraction to other women, but you’re envious of your boyfriend’s CD collection.

Exactly! I'm so glad the prof who created that site concurs.


Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

05 07 06

Hey MJ:
Now that is very interesting. I was always taught something similar but also use the terms interchangibly. Too bad the meanings have become blurred in popular usage, much like your vs. you're! And Arrogant Polyglot had a point regarding the language question. What dilineates the tangible from intangible? Or does jealousy strictly refer to emotions? Good post, you have been quite prolific lately!

Anonymous said...

Your and you're are clearly wrong: you're is a contraction. Envy is about coveting.

When I wasn't as busy and was at the computer more often, I posted almost every day.