The differences between happiness, joy and gladness1.IntroductionThe concept of happiness can be characterized by three separate prototypes, which all refer to happiness but each approaches the concept of happiness from a slightly different meaning. The differences reveal mainly in the intensity of the emotion. Therefore it is very interesting how these differences appear in the English language. It is important to see these differences because our society is based on happiness and to reach the main goal of ones life it is good to understand the differences in the conceptualizations of happiness.
2.The three prototypesThe source domain of the three prototypes are taken from the class notes of Emotion Language, from the study of Zoltán Kövecses: Emotion concepts: from happiness to guiltA cognitive semantic perspective and definitions form answers.com.
The first prototype is called joy which according to answers.com is an intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness and the expression or manifestation of such feeling. In other words, joy covers an immediate response of happiness. This means that this word is used to represent a sudden feeling that is self-enabling and comes from within .
The next type is called the existential happiness which is a major value in life that people want to reach. This is a general feeling about being happy, therefore it is expressed by the word happiness. In Answers.com this word is described as an agreeable feeling or condition of the soul arising from good fortune or propitious happening of any kind; the possession of those circumstances or that state of being which is attended with enjoyment; the state of being happy; contentment; joyful satisfaction; felicity; blessedness.
The last type of happiness is gladness, which is the less intense out of the three types. According to answers.com the word glad is experiencing or exhibiting joy and pleasure. This feeling can be explained in other words like gratifying, pleasurable, very willing, bright and cheerful.
3.The major differences in meaningAccording to the Internet joy and happiness are more commonly occur in the same context than joy and glad or happiness and glad so there are a number of studies and articles about happiness versus joy. The reason for this on the one part is that they have a close relation in meaning so it is not as univocal therefore many people does not recognize the differences or has improper thoughts about it. On the other part glad seems to be clearly terminated in meaning in the usage of the English language.
Accordingly, there are many conceptualizations about the differences between joy and happiness on the Internet. On the one hand, in a forum about happiness, the opinion of a person named Suviko was: joy is something you feel shortly, temporary moment, a passing good feeling. Happiness is having that for longer period of time and it is more general, not as much targeted feeling . This explanation perfectly reflects the differences between joy and the existential happiness according to the study of Kövecses. But as it appears in some articles on the internet, this is not the only realization that is considered as the concept of happiness and joy. On the other hand, there is an essay about happiness versus joy which claims that happiness is fleeting and it comes from the fulfillment of ones desires, therefore happiness is dependent upon something while joy can be continuous and it comes from within . The main difference between the two conceptualization is the quantity of the feeling. In the first statement the duration of the feeling of joy takes less time than happiness while in the second statement joy lasts for longer. This proves that there are some differences in the conceptualization of the first two prototypes of happiness. Besides the differences the main idea about the intensity of the two prototypes reflects everywhere that happiness is more intense.
In his study Vic...
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