Thursday, August 10, 2006

Enough Hatred to Go Around



Q. This exchange appeared in a nationally syndicated column. The question was, "Someone who dislikes all people is a 'misanthrope.' Someone who dislikes all women is a 'misogynist.' What's someone who dislikes all men?" The answer was, "If you don't count manhater, there's no word for that."

A. The correct answer is that there is a word for that. Misandry means a hatred of men; the practitioner would be a misandrist. So, from general to specific, we would chart the words this way:

Misanthrope (everybody)
misogynist (women) misandrist (men)

The miso- form comes from the Greek word misos, hatred. It is used to form some interesting words, among them misology (hatred of reason), misoneism (hatred of innovation), and misozooic (hostile to animals).



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