Wednesday, 25 December 2013

There's Still Time

At least if you live in the Northern hemisphere there is - I've just been given Schottenfreude, and I think it might be the perfect solution for all those increasingly despairing souls tramping the malls of non-German speaking Europe looking for a present for someone difficult.

Schottenfreude is a list of supposedly German words, complete with literary and scholarly examples of their usage, (including detailed page references et cetera) - but the examples are all from English works. I don't know why it's funny - something innately ludicrous about the German language, despite its beauty, combined with a spurious scholarly tone perhaps - plus the ingenuity of the words, all, or almost all, entirely manufactured by the author, I assume.

Here are some examples:

1. Schlagerschmeicherlei - Enjoying emotionally manipulative mass culture, despite knowing you are being manipulated
Ref. The insight that entertainment is manufactured to be manipulative seems neither to negate its effect nor to diminish its polarity. In c, 1944, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno named such manufacture the "culture industry" (Kulturindustrie);  a few years later, George Orwell dubbed its product "parole feed":

"Here we're produced rubbishy newspapers, containing ...."

2.Sommerferienewigkeitsgefuhl - Childhood sensation that the summer holidays will last forever.
Ref. The great epigrammist Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis) urged the teachers of Rome to ....

3. Ludwigssyndrom - Discovering an indecipherable note in your own handwriting
Ref. Jerome K Jerome wrote ....Tolstoy relied ....

4.Stuhlgangsgenuss - Private enjoyment of your own unsavoury bodily functions
Ref. This subject is explored by William Miller in his fascinating book ...

5. Ausbremungsangst.
Ref: In her tautologically titled memoir, the Duchess of York advised her readers to "watch for FOMO - Fear of Missing Out" - and warned "This will make you go down wrong paths". Immanuel Kant made this related comment on how different character temperaments behave in society:

"The sanguineous person goes where he is not invited; the choleric one does not go where he is not invited in accordance with propriety ...."


  1. I could use some of these!

    Happy new year!!

    1. I wonder if your wife would recognise any of the entries - I suspect every one of them is an invention. Happy New Year