Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition
German is full of wonderful compound words, so it is the obvious language with which to construct new terms for situations that have been crying out for nomenclature (but probably crying rather quietly, as the need for the word is only made evident by its provision (which point is interesting in itself)).
Witzbeharrsamkeit - Unashamedly repeating a bon mot until it is properly heard by everyone present.
Scheidungskreidekreisprobe - The distribution of friends after a divorce.
Frohsinnsfaschismus - The god-awful mediocrity of organised fun.
After you have read a page or two of this book you will start identifying situations that need such word, and, after a few pages more, you will start to provide them. - Thomas
Ever thought, 'There should be a German word for that'? Well, now there is. From the mind that created Schott's Original Miscellany comes a unique volume exploring the idiosyncrasies of the human condition...auf Deutsch. In which language but German could you construct le mot juste for: a secret love of bad food, the inability to remember jokes, Sunday-afternoon depression, the urge to yawn, the glee of gossip, reassuring your hairdresser, delight at the changing of the seasons, the urge to hoard, or the ineffable pleasure of a cold pillow?
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Ben Schott is the author of Schott's Original Miscellany, Schott's Food & Drink Miscellany, Schott's Sporting, Gaming & Idling Miscellany, Schott's Quintessential Miscellany and the yearbook Schott's Almanac (2006-11). Ben is a regular contributor to the New York Times and The Times. He divides his time between London and New York. benschott.com @benschott