It’s become kind of a cliché to say “Oh, the Germans probably have a word for it.” But as Ian Crouch (reviewing Ben Schott’s new book, Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition, among others) points out, more often than not, they do:
Stepping down heavily on a stair that isn’t there.
Being startled when exiting a movie theater into broad daylight.
The exhausting trudge up a stationary escalator.
Total confidence that a newly opened restaurant is doomed to fail.
Crouch has plenty of other examples of the non-German sort as well, along with some commentary on what it all means.
Me? I’m a fan of all neologisms unless they’re trying too hard to be specique.
Photo Credit: DL Byron, texturadesign.com