We came up with “MSanthropy”, but we know you can do better

Posted by Lizzie on 02/02/05

Per the post below, we are looking for, as Matt requested, a word that describes:

…the wave of nausea that hits you when you read about forthcoming books written by the kind of person you’d rather eat broken glass than have to listen to for five minutes.

We think this can be expanded to include books by people you went to college or even once slept with that came out to great acclaim while you haven’t written anything in….ever. But whatever suits.*

* Making things contests always seems to work against us in the end, but here goes: One spanking new copy of HOME LAND to the winner.

UPDATE: For the last time, we ARE NOT MAKING FUN OF Jennsylvania, her book deal, nor the state from which she draws her humorous URL. This discussion was simply a springboard for an overlooked need–that is, a word for the above. If people continue to misunderestimate us, however, or simply fail to submit an entry, THE HATERADE WILL BEGIN.

Filed under: Lit-ish |


  1. [...] t to great acclaim while you haven’t written anything in….ever,” an expansion of Matt’s search for a word to best describe “…the wave of nausea that hits you when [...]

    Pingback by Old Hag — 2/7/2005 @ 2:51 pm

  2. [...] n the table. I’ve suggested “SCHATenfraude” (as a scatalogical default). Now you go. (Related: A while back, Conversational Reading asked for help coining a phrase for the ove [...]

    Pingback by Tingle Alley » Contesto! — 2/2/2005 @ 8:36 pm

  3. Um, SCHATenfraude?

    — “I heard about her $100,000 advance and I SCHATenfrauded myself.”

    Comment by CAAF — 2/2/2005 @ 3:19 pm

  4. I think CAAF’s right to think it should be German. Still, I gotta go with illiteracy.

    Comment by cinetrix — 2/2/2005 @ 3:37 pm

  5. Yeah, I feel like this word already exists in German. But my adaptation is backwards. Schadenfraude is joy in other’s misery. And what we want here is a word for misery in other’s joy.

    Comment by CAAF — 2/2/2005 @ 3:44 pm

  6. I’m going to have to come back with MSery. Because I am so lame as to enter my own contest.

    Comment by Old Hag — 2/2/2005 @ 3:51 pm

  7. Docudrama.

    Whatever you call it, I do know the feeling.

    Comment by Penny33 — 2/2/2005 @ 4:14 pm

  8. Badvance?

    Comment by CAAF — 2/2/2005 @ 4:22 pm

  9. Publisher’s Lost Lunch

    those last two are pure pandering, but i want that book, goddamit.

    Comment by Jimmy Beck — 2/2/2005 @ 5:16 pm

  10. Anbookdonia, makes you lose interest in ever reading a book again

    Comment by bluepoppy — 2/2/2005 @ 5:25 pm

  11. Jimmy, you Karl Roveian ho!

    Comment by CAAF — 2/2/2005 @ 6:22 pm

  12. CAAF, you’re making me blush!

    Comment by Jimmy Beck — 2/2/2005 @ 9:00 pm

  13. Damnbivalence?

    Comment by Jenny D — 2/2/2005 @ 11:45 pm

  14. um…following Old Hag’s MS model… MS&M? There’s certainly an element of self-inflicted torture in keeping track of others’ success…

    Comment by Lickona — 2/3/2005 @ 12:03 am

  15. This petty jealousy disguised as injured integrity is not attractive. You’re making fools of yourselves.

    Furthermore, I must (as I often must do, lately, I find) remind you damned bloggers that although you are writing in a solitary, anonymous, cyber-world, that you are discussing a human being. Has anyone bothered to go to her site, to see that this woman has read your crappy, clever, snarky comments?

    Were you people the fuckers back in high school, too? No, I suspect not. On the contrary, I suspect that you were all the ultra-smart grinds who were name-called and iced during your adolescence. Pity you learned nothing from your pain.

    Comment by Thea — 2/3/2005 @ 12:56 am

  16. Publisher’s Weakly
    in libris morsus (“in books, a sting”)
    in libris vomito (“in books, to vomit”)

    Comment by Nick Douglas — 2/3/2005 @ 1:06 am

  17. I just call it Wednesday.

    Comment by Rake — 2/3/2005 @ 4:05 am

  18. I am so disappointed to see this kind of backstabbing attempt to be funny at someone else’s expense. It’s sick, really sick.

    Does it make you feel better about yourself to try and grind someone into the dirt?

    What goes around, comes around– may you get yours in spades.

    And may we all be there to see it.

    Good luck to you, I think you’re going to need it.


    Comment by Michelle — 2/3/2005 @ 6:27 am

  19. Oh, brother. What a shitstorm I seem to have started. Perhaps it was unfair to single out Miss Sylvania’s book deal as an example of everything that is wrong with non-fiction literature these days. In fact, there are probably hundreds of other similar examples I could have pointed to. This just happened to be the most convenient.

    The truth is, I couldn’t be happier for her. I hope her book sells a million. I hope she is able to climb out of wretched poverty back into the comfortable lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. She is clearly a gifted comedic writer. After all, she did craft this line which nearly had my morning coffee spraying across my computer screen:

    “By the way, Matt, when I looked you up on Amazon.com, I couldn’t find anything you’d published.

    So I think maybe the word you’re looking for is ‘jealousy.’”

    Oh, snap! No she didn’t!

    Folks, I’m neither a blogger nor a writer. I write sub-literate movie reviews for a website. For free.

    I’m sorry, Miss Hag, if this debacle has caused you any grief. I hope it does not hurt your bid to become the nation’s top finesse operator lawyer.

    Comment by Matt — 2/3/2005 @ 9:24 am

  20. I’m thinking there needs to be a word for “the
    disproportionate bitchiness and shit-starting that occurs when someone overreacts to a couple of nasty comments and completely misinterprets the entire blog discussion in which they appear as being an elitist hate campaign against her forthcoming book and the ironic hilarity that comes from the fact that she’s totally attacking a freelance book reviewer.”

    My vote: “Jennsylvanity.”

    Hee hee.

    Comment by Jorie — 2/3/2005 @ 9:34 am

  21. Am I just completely dense or did I just interpret this thread as being against the general phenomenon of annoying celebwriters instead of an attack on Ms. Jennsylvania?


    Comment by Sarah — 2/3/2005 @ 9:37 am

  22. Jen:
    Personally, I’d rather write a commercial, likeable book along the lines of The Devil Wears Prada than a masterpiece like A Confederacy of Dunces. Think about it; John Kennedy Toole killed himself before his book ever sold….
    It’s horrid that someone would use the suicide of a troubled young man to glorify the twin sins of greed and philistinism. There’s a German word for that: Scheisspferdmachine.

    (actually I think that means shithorsemachine, oh well.)

    Comment by throatwobbler — 2/3/2005 @ 9:45 am

  23. Yeah, I have to second…everbody. I was just excited by need to craft a word for the general phenom, not Jen’s book in particular, which aroused in me no particular irritation. Wish her all the best. But still want a word the people for whom you do NOT wish the best.

    I thought of Shelf-hatred, but I have to stop entering my own contest.

    Comment by Old Hag — 2/3/2005 @ 10:29 am

  24. “the need”, sorry. I know there’s some way to edit my own comments, but I don’t know it, in life or here.

    Comment by Old Hag — 2/3/2005 @ 10:30 am

  25. Okay, dudes, let’s get back to the word inventing. More “back page of the Atlantic” and less “every other blog.”

    I really think MSanthropy is the best so far.

    Comment by Nick Douglas — 2/3/2005 @ 10:39 am

  26. I’m going to have to withdraw, I’m afraid. I’m already on double-secret probation. One more write-up on snarkwatch and I’m grounded for a month.

    Comment by Jimmy Beck — 2/3/2005 @ 10:54 am

  27. vendelavation

    Comment by jeff — 2/3/2005 @ 11:37 am

  28. um, i don’t have a contribution to the contest. i just wanted to say that The Devil Wears Prada is not even a little bit likeable.

    Comment by jessica — 2/3/2005 @ 12:56 pm

  29. Wurtzelgasm.

    Comment by Jessica — 2/3/2005 @ 1:59 pm

  30. How about: Penvy

    Comment by e — 2/3/2005 @ 3:04 pm

  31. Apologies, Lizzie, for taking up your comment space. But in an age when Iraq critics are barred from attending President Bush’s speeches, I can’t refrain from weighing in. Who the fuck are you, Thea and Mr. Schoolgirl Matt, to come here with the Emily Post finger-waving?

    Here’s how it works: When an author has received a $100,000 advance to write about something that can be read on nearly every LiveJournal published since 1995, as far as I’m concerned, it’s open season.

    I haven’t met this Jennsylvania person. I’m sure she’s a nice young lady. But if I had my damn blog right now, I’d devote every bit of satirical brimstone to eviscerating the hell out of the book and this deal. It’s nothing personal. It’s endemic of the publishing world’s odd and savage tics more than anything else.

    But Jen’s response has demonstrated that she ain’t what we would call a “stand-out gal” here in the West Coast. If Jen had any credibility, she’d respond with humor and self-deprecatory grace and cater to the curious crowd, rather than offer such woe-is-me bullshit (also found on every LiveJournal published since 1995).

    If this Jen person can’t take rejection or being hideously scathed (something that ALL writers go through), she shouldn’t be in the writing business in the first place.

    And with that I offer my own contribution to the vernacular for the condition of a writer that’s made a mint but who is hypersensitive to a trifling criticism:


    Comment by Ed — 2/3/2005 @ 3:15 pm

  32. I can’t think of a good name for this reaction, but I suspect it is the same thing that makes me stay up at night wondering how Richard Marx ever happened.
    Down with the flamers!

    Comment by tito — 2/3/2005 @ 4:46 pm

  33. Given that there is little more than drivel here, and that this forum is being used as a pity party for pinko-commies, tree huggers and certain fascists, I’m going to take a moment to congratulate you once again, Jen: bravo!

    I had to read the following several times before it made any sense ..

    “…the wave of nausea that hits you when you read about forthcoming books written by the kind of person you’d rather eat broken glass than have to listen to for five minutes.”

    the grammar involved here is rather complex, but I think that the author is saying one of two things: he’d prefer to eat broken glass than read what Jen has written, or he’d prefer that Jen eat broken glass, than read (her own?) work?

    not too much is making sense, but what is rather clear is that you, Matt, need to revise your command of English grammar … thus the mot qu’il faut: grammar.

    Work on your grammar – and perhaps people will read your more seriously …

    Bravo Jen! Well done!

    Comment by veritas — 2/3/2005 @ 10:17 pm

  34. “Work on your grammar – and perhaps people will read your more seriously …”

    My grammar is fine. How your?

    My entry: bunkumbiliousness

    Comment by Matt — 2/4/2005 @ 8:46 am

  35. shouldabinmeosis, penstipation, successitis, fuckofforhoids

    Comment by evert eden — 2/4/2005 @ 9:42 am

  36. i vote for whoever submitted “penvy” to receive the prize: simple yet brilliant, and vaguely dirty-sounding. no entry of my own yet .. i’ll have to think about it.

    off to the pinko pity party! what should i wear?

    Comment by lizpenn — 2/4/2005 @ 9:48 pm

  37. Penvy is brilliant!

    Comment by MJ — 2/4/2005 @ 11:14 pm

  38. Liz: Well, I’m wearing a ratty “I’m okay, you’re okay” t-shirt under a velveteen pea soup jacket. I hope you received the leaflets to distribute over the Five Boroughs (printed and shipped with all that limo-lib payola being thrown around like cut Colombian on a hipster’s glass coffee table). Because if we don’t get this actuated and the people from the Whole Earth Catalog fall through, I’ll have to hang myself from a Redwood, barely chewed granola dribbling down my maw.

    I understand that Julia Butterfly Hill (backed by a bull dyke choir) will be the keynote speaker. Barbra canceled at the last minute. Too high maintenance, as usual. However, the speechwriters are doing their damnedest to dumb this down for the literal vegan crowd.

    There will also be lots of hugs. We don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea here. If you need a few self-affirming mantras for the mirror, I’ll be happy to provide them.

    Comment by Ed — 2/5/2005 @ 10:46 am

  39. Oh, Ed. I’m counting the days until the Return of the Return of the. xo jb

    Comment by Jimmy Beck — 2/7/2005 @ 11:13 am

  40. “Moronicosis”

    Comment by whiskytangofoxtrot — 2/9/2005 @ 8:39 am

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