Welcome to the first edition of Wacky Word Wednesdays, a weekly celebration of some of the most wacky and interesting words from around the world. If you love language, translation, or localization, then this is the place for you. Today’s wacky word is: Schadenfreude.
The definition from Dictionary.com:
satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.
It comes from a combination of the German words for harm/damage (Schaden) and joy (Freude), and is often used as a loanword in English. Technically, schadenfreude should be capitalized like all German nouns, but when used in English it’s usually written in the lower case. As is the rule with most (but not all) loanwords in English, it should be italicized.
For your reference, here are two examples of schadenfreude used in a sentence:
- In a long-awaited moment of schadenfreude, Julie smiled as her ex-boyfriend slammed face-first into the sliding glass door.
- Jimmy could not help but feel a degree of schadenfreude when the jerk who nabbed his taxi got his foot ran over—twice.
The Wacky Word Contest
Now, it’s not the nicest concept in the world, but who hasn’t succumbed to moments of malicious joy at the expense of others? We’re only human, right? To commemorate our humanity (and the first edition of Wacky Word Wednesday!), we’d like to give you the opportunity to win a $15 gift certificate for Amazon.com.
ETA: The Contest is now closed. Thanks for your participation! The winner will be announced on Wednesday.
To be eligible for the contest, you must:
- Leave a comment with a funny sentence, demonstrating the correct use of schadenfreude in English.
- This sentence MUST be unique and written by you.
- To seal the deal, tweet this blog entry, so your friends can participate too.
Only one entry per person, and you have until 11:59 PM (PDT) on Monday, August 30th, 2010 to submit your sentence in response to this post. That’s only a few days away, so hurry up and get your funny on!
The winning sentence will be announced in next week’s Wacky Word Wednesday, so if you think you can make us laugh, you might just win an Amazon gift certificate. Remember, though, because this is a corporate blog, please keep your entries WORK APPROPRIATE. Thanks!
– The Folks at CSOFT