Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 14:34 PM.

They would either pretend to know what it means or ask me.  If they asked, I could explain that it simply means to “cause happiness.”

That is a nice compliment.

One fellow noted, “Don't worry about using this word (felicific) - it is very obscure. I have never seen it or heard it before, and I think that would be true for almost all native speakers.  A couple of related words are more common -- felicity, felicitous, felicitate -- but even these are very rarely used in ordinary conversation. As long as you know that they are all related to "happiness," you will understand them about as well as most native speakers do.”

One my girls had a baby doll named “Felicity” who made her pretty happy.  I never really thought about it that much.

When I studied the word a little more, I got about waist deep into some wordy ideological quicksand. 

This fellow named Bentham (1748-8132) came up with something he called “felicific calculus.”  I’m a math guy, but I just have a real issue with quantifying happiness.  I know when I’m really happy, kind of happy or a little happy.  I don’t need to put a number on it.

It seemed to me that this fellow was all for “everybody being happy” and not doing things to anybody or anything that caused unhappiness.  Of course, I’m kind of paraphrasing here.  I’m also starting to understand that this word I found may cause more problems than I can handle. 



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