"When did the word "hatred" disappear from the English language?"
She felt that "hatred" is a much better word than its synonym "hate".
Of course, "hatred" has not disappeared from English (neither the word, nor, alas, the thing). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "hatred" occurs between 10 and 100 times per million words in typical modern English usage, in the same category as words like dog, horse, ship, machine, mile, assessment, army, career, stress, gas, explosion, desert, parish, envelope, and headache.
But my friend is on to something. "Hatred" does seem to be waning.
If you look at Google Books (admittedly a rather rough tool), the word has been experiencing a downward trend since 1800 (here's the link if you can't see the graph
This trend is confirmed by other corpora.
It is not really surprising if "hatred" is on the wane, if not exactly in its death throes yet, since it has to contend with its exact synonym "hate" (the noun).
Is "hate" some newfangled verb-noun conversion that is muscling out its venerable forebear "hatred"?
Far from it. The noun "hate" and its Anglo-Saxon ancestor hete are in fact older than "hatred", the earliest evidence for which dates from 1225.
Another phenomenon that is not in favour of "hatred" is that it is one of only two words current in English that maintain the Old English suffix -red (meaning "condition, state"), the other being "kindred". We don't have "love" and "lovered", though we used to have the latter, along with "brothered", "friendred", "gossipred", "neighboured", and a few others. So without a major semantic distinction between "hatred" and "hate", a distinction that I don't detect, the form with the old-fashioned suffix may well eventually die.
There are syntactic differences though. "Hate", rather than "hatred", is almost always used to form compounds, e.g. "hate crime", "hate speech", "hate campaign", "hate mail", "hate-filled". We don't say "hatred crime".
On the other hand, "hatred" is much more likely than "hate" to be used when followed by a preposition: although it's possible to say "his hate of the enemy", it's much more common to say "his hatred of the enemy". "His hate of the enemy" even sounds a bit odd to me; how about you?
What do you think about "hate" and "hatred"? Is "hatred" a better word, and if so, why? Do you feel there is a semantic distinction between the two?
While we're on the topic, who's in favour of changing the spelling to a more logical "hatered"?? Ah, English spelling, how we love to hate you.
If only we could get rid of hatred by banning the word!