I Read, Therefore I Am (a Bitch)

Reading on the TAfter enduring the mocking wrath that is my coworkers’ disbelief that I must be the only person in the entire city of Boston who doesn’t listen to my iPod during my commute, I feel it necessary to explain my old-school ways. It’s not as if I wouldn’t appreciate the safe buffer of iPod to protect me from the talkative crazies that populate the T. And it’s not my Amish tendencies to eschew technology. It’s actually rather simple, and just a little bit dull: I like to read. Whether it’s the hard-hitting news of the grammatically-questionable Metro (“Women Tries to Marry Carnival Ride” is just one example of a recent headline), or a real book (balancing out my trashy reading with smart books using a tried-and-true ratio of 3:1), I relish in the simple pleasure of cleverly-grouped-together words.

Yes, I’ll admit it: I’m a word geek. I keep a tiny green book in my bag at all times, just in case I come across a really great word and want to jot it down.

And the word that inspired such a book: schadenfreude. I have no idea where I came across it first, but when I did, it was like finding my soul mate — a word so utterly perfect and relevant, it nearly brought me to tears. Meaning “enjoyment obtained by the trouble of others,” the word is brilliant at encapsulating a phenomenon so outlandish and downright evil that I’m not afraid to admit that it’s my number one favorite word, despite the “bitch” accusations that might go along with such an admission. (Yes, I revel in the misery of others. I consider watching someone slip on ice one of the simplest pleasures on earth. That shit’s just funny!)

So, at the risk of coming out of your own similar Bitch Closet, do you have any favorite words? For example, do you love saying the word “spina bifida” regardless of its definition as a horrible, crippling spinal condition? I know I’m not alone on that one…

Posted by Amelia

5 responses to “I Read, Therefore I Am (a Bitch)

  1. Circumnavigate…sounds so complicated, but in reality, quite simple…be it a complicated project, a crowded room or global expanse…circumnavigating constantly!

    p.s. I smell a Scrabble match soon

  2. Caitlin Sullivan

    I am horrified that you just used saying the word(s) “spina bifida” as somehow being amusing and fun to say despite its true definition and comparing it to having the same effect as watching someone slip and fall on ice as being hilarious to watch. I am a loyal m.blog reader and do truly enjoy most of what I read. I consider myself to be quite difficult to offend, but this really did it for me. My brother has spina bifida and I am appalled and disgusted at your reference. I will continue to read m.blog and will not let this jade my opinion of you…..but have some class.

  3. I like the word superfluous. First, its fun to say and second I like the concept “being beyond what is required or sufficient.” Its sort of the glass is half full version of the word overkill. Another great thing about this word is that when you are using it, there’s a good chance your involved with having more of something than you need. To be honest I didn’t pick this one up during a read on my way to work, I’ll admit it first came to my attention a long time ago in a random statement about Crusty the Clown on an episode of The Simpsons.

  4. Caitlin: My sincere apologies–it was never my intention to trivialize a painful illness. In a careless attempt at humor, the comparison between spina bifida and schadenfreude was misconstrued. I did not mean to imply that observing someone suffering from a disease was akin to watching someone slip on ice. Rather, I was merely approaching the word from a linguistic perspective and remarking upon its melodious nature. Again, my apologies for any unintended offense.

  5. Pingback: My (New) Favorite Restaurant «

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