Friday, November 26, 2010

Add "Schadenfreude" to your vocabulary

I came across the word schadenfreude reading a write up about Trans Iowa. I believe it applies to the goal of a few of the guys I ride with. It is a German word that means pleasure derived from the misfortunes/sufferings of others. In english the closest saying we have is "it sucks to be you".

From Wikipedia: In the 2004 Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q the song "Schadenfreude" parodies the language instruction songs of Sesame Street. The song sung by characters Gary Coleman and Nicky, describes schadenfreude as "German for 'happiness at the misfortune of others'". In the song, schadenfreude is also described as "making me feel glad that I'm not you" and "people taking pleasure in your pain". The characters use examples like "D'ja ever clap when a waitress falls and drops a tray of glasses?" and "Don'tcha feel all warm and cozy, watching people out in the rain?" as being schadenfreude.

I have been on some grueling Tuesday night hammer-fests when the word could be used. I would guess most of us have been in situation that we had the thought but did not have the word to describe our true feelings at the time. I would guess most of us have been on the other side of the word as well. Maybe not Wiford.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Joe - does your old machlink email address still work?

Tim Lucas
MHS '81