The result of the absurd idea that one will feel better after one's opponent is verbally or physically hacked to bits.

I was once the victim of a nonsensical vendetta by a rude girl with a bad case of Copycat Syndrome. As is usually the case with this disease, the girl first copied me, then found out I knew, and THEN began to defend her perceived "right" to copy from me against my will. When asked to remove my writing from her Web site, my copycat began her vendetta. Because she had been caught being unoriginal and knew quite well that what she'd done was unethical, unimaginative, and LAME, she sought to destroy me and any evidence of my superiority. It became a crusade . . . "oh! swankivy has made me feel bad about myself! i must launch a full attack on her!"

Did I mention that she is insane?

I did not make this writeup in order to itemize the details of her copyright infringment, however. I did it to bring a question into the spotlight: Why is it that some people seem to think attacking other people will make them feel better about themselves? How does a vendetta to push down another person elevate the attacker? It just does, I guess. Despite the fact that my crime in this case was my unwillingness to allow the uncredited use of my own personal material, this girl apparently decided it was a crime worth punishing. Worth punishing with a whirlwind of fury, ego, and pointless insults, all the while attempting to show me as the "bad guy" and to convince herself that I was the bitch.

I believe that most people who allow themselves to be controlled by vendettas actually are more upset with themselves than with their victims. And I'll bet you anything that after all the trouble my copycat went through to discredit me (trying to make it look like I copied her, announcing that I was jealous of her, constantly signing her own online guestbook--and mine--pretending to be random people concerned about the issue) . . . after all that, I'll bet you she still feels like she lost. Because in my eyes, there was no fight.

Vendetta is a noun pronounced ven-'de-tê. Italian has given the English lexicon of almost all of classical music its words such as allegro, brio, forte, piano, pizzicato, sotto voce and so on. In more recent times the Italian language has contributed to the English lexicon by giving it the names of many delicious foods and foodstuffs such as ciabatta, chianti, lasagna, macaroni, pasta, and spaghetti. Not to mention the popularity or notoriety of organized crime, both in real life and in fiction, has given us a full of variety of additions by the likes of capo, cosa nostra, mafia, omerta and this word the vendetta. It is derived from :
    "(The) Italian reflex of Latin vindicta "revenge, vengeance" from vindicare "assert one's authority, avenge." This verb is from vim, accusative of vis "power, strength" + dicere "say, speak." Latin dictatum "dictated," from the same root, became dite "literary piece" in Old French where it was nicked by the English who use it today as "ditty." The same root that provided Latin dic- also gave Germanic *taik-jan from which Old English tæc-an "to show, instruct" and Modern English "teach" derive. "(B. L. Loureiro

The idea of vendettas arose originally among quarrels between families in Corsica where a relation of a murder victim would seek retribution of the death by killing the murderer or someone in the murderer's family.The February 2002 Smithsonian Magazine tells:

    It is no accident that the term "vendetta" is the only Corsican word to have passed unchanged into the dictionaries of most of the world's languages. Blood feuds were still going strong only a generation or so ago and continue even today. "You must never forget," one observer admonishes, "that the vendetta was, for thousands of years, the only law a Corsican could trust."
This has also come to mean in today's usages metaphorically as in a prolonged dispute or a campaign where there is vexation, wit or a constant criticism of a person. Whereas blood is no longer literally spilled; verbal massacres count, as well. While vendettas are no longer prevalent in Corsica there were some rather well known ones in the Ozark Mountains where many a family feuds erupted among the moonshiners and continued up until the Civil War. Elsewhere among criminal organizations they still occasionally erupt. Participants are vendettists. No longer found among the nations of Europe, but still a way of life in the Caucasus where clan life in a Chechen mountain village today revolves around raising sheep and raiding. The clans practice the classic blood-vendetta where no offense against clan honor goes unpunished, and feuds go on for generations.



Chechen Nationalism and the Tragedy of the Struggle for Independence:

Smithsonian Magazine :


Ven*det"ta (?), n. [It.]

A blood feud; private revenge for the murder of a kinsman.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.