The German language is kind of ugly. I don’t really like it for that reason. But, it’s definitely useful- particularly to anybody who studies philosophy. I’m not sure if I’ve just somehow read more German writers, or if several people have just borrowed from the German language, but they have words that don’t translate into English. In many cases, great ones. One of my recent favorites is schadenfreude. The literal translation is harm-joy. It refers to that dirty pleasure we experience when we see or hear about the troubles of another person.
Lucy Van Pelt is into schadenfreude.
Jake, why are you telling us about this?
Because I had a revelation. Not quite the kind of thing that makes a man jump out of the bathtub and run down the street naked kind of revelation, but one that just might impact my life a little more than 99 percent of my other thoughts. And I shared that revelation with a friend, who didn’t think much of it. I think the exact response was, “Oh yeah. I knew that.”
I went on to share that revelation with a few other people. None of them thought it was a big deal either. At the end of the week, I felt like my God-given insight was really just common knowledge that I somehow missed out on. What do we call that? I need a word for,
“I just discovered what everybody else already knew and when I told them they thought I was an idiot.”
Does the German language have something like that? Because I need it. frequently. You’d think I’d experience this less as I become an adult. Apparently not.
This whole thing, by the way- was an intro to what could be my next post. I’ll share with the internets and see what all of you think.