Post by Katy Jennison Post by occam
"So it is odd that the English language does not have a word for this
grubby little pleasure - instead we have to borrow from the German and
call it Schadenfreude (literally "damage-joy"). "
One often hears this claim, but is it true? It seems to me that at least
in British English "glee" more or less corresponds to Schadenfreude.
Almost, but I don't think someone else's misfortune is essential for
glee. If I said, "You know your bike that was nicked yesterday? I know
who did it, and it's in his garden - let's go and nick it back!" your
feeling might be glee, but it wouldn't be schadenfreude.
An obvious counter example is
"It's a Snark!" was the sound that first came to their ears,
And seemed almost too good to be true.
Then followed a torrent of laughter and cheers:
Then the ominous words "It's a Boo-"
Then, silence. Some fancied they heard in the air
A weary and wandering sigh
Then sounded like "-jum!" but the others declare
It was only a breeze that went by.
They hunted till darkness came on, but they found
Not a button, or feather, or mark,
By which they could tell that they stood on the ground
Where the Baker had met with the Snark.
In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away---
For the Snark *was* a Boojum, you see.