To Your Heart's Content

Monday, November 07, 2005


This post is dedicated to Chris (check the sidebar for his link), since he spurned the idea for this blog's entry. I was on the other day and came across Paul Krugman's use of the word 'schadenfreude' to describe the democrats gloating over the Republicans' demise. So I immediately went to wikipedia's wiktionary, which has a wonderful history of the word. It is borrowed from the german where Schaden means damage or harm and freude means joy. It describes pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune, sometimes described as the most beautiful kind of joy (according to wiktionary, Lisa accuses Homer of feeling schadenfreude when Homer gloats about Ned Flanders being on the verge of bankruptcy). Do you agree? Think about it, especially as it relates to competition, and how much competition is built into our system. Not to mention China's--imagine trying to out-compete 1.3 billion people (which leads to some very interesting, if not frightful, facts about Chinese teens' social life, the government's intervention in many aspects of one's personal life, etc...). Excuse the tangent there. As I was saying, schadenfreude...yes..its apparent English equivalent is 'epicaricacy', but who the hell wants to use that!? It sounds like some sort of malevant medicinal practice carried out by epicurians or some crazy s$%t like that. Hard to believe that English did not have its own word (but then again, is that possible?) as do almost many other languages to describe this feeling.


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