The SOD describes horror as “a painful emotion compounded of loathing and fear; a shuddering with terror and repugnance; the feeling excited by something shocking or frightful.” Doesn’t sound that enjoyable, does it? And yet horror is a remarkably popular genre, in film, TV, and of course, ye olde book.
What’s your position? Are you keen on horripilant entertainment?
I found that one two words above ‘horror’ and couldn’t resist. It’s an adjective describing things which cause horripilation. Which sounds like something Roald Dahl invented, but is actually the word for hairs standing on end – caused by “contraction of the cutaneous muscles”, according to the endlessly informative Shorter Oxford. (Sudden vision of a parallel universe’s version of the town of Oxford, half as tall…)