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WOW: Schadenfreude




Monday, August 31, 2009
Schadenfreude - OBG's Word of the Week (WOW) is - simply put - pleasure derived from the misfortune of others (yikes!). This German noun comes from "Schaden" (adversity, harm) and "Freude"(joy) and like all German nouns, it is typically capitalized, although it is often used in the English language without capitalization.
Have you ever giggled at someone who tripped and fell down while running across the street? (Ouch.) That's schadenfreude. Did you ever laugh at a reality show contestant that embarassed herself by pretending to be rich and popular only to find out on national television that she's broke and not particularly well liked? (Oh dear.) Again, that's schadenfreude. And if you're a Project Runway fan that gets a secret thrill hearing Heidi announce "You're out" to a losing clothing designer, well, you know, that's schadenfreude too.

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