After 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