A few readers have e-mailed to ask what "hathos" is. Here's my definition:
Hathos is the attraction to something you really can't stand; it's the compulsion of revulsion.
Alex Heard coined it:
Hathos (hay'thos) n., pl. double hathos A pleasurable sense of loathing, or a loathing sense of pleasure, aroused by certain schlocky, schmaltzy or just- plain-bad show-business personalities: "Hearing the audience applaud when Dr. Joyce Brothers told Merv Griffin that, aside from being a brilliant comedienne, Charo is a 'genius on the classical guitar' filled me with hathos." [American: hate/happy pathos lachrymose (?)] ha-thot-ic adj.
"Beyond Hate: The Giddy Thrill of Hathos," The Washington Post, May 17, 1987
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.