I think English needs new words or, at the very least, some words that exist in other languages need to be adopted. As an example, look to schadenfraude.
Schadenfreude is defined as “pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. Borrowed from German into English and several other languages, it is a feeling of joy that comes from seeing or hearing about another person’s troubles or failures. It is similar in meaning to the English term “gloating”, an expression of pleasure or self-satisfaction at one’s own success or another’s failure”
Which isn’t very nice but we’ve all done it, even in its mildest form, the comedy of the pratfall, the banana skin slip, brings an element of schadenfraude. It’s maybe not a word that everyone who speaks English knows, but a lot of us have at least heard of it in passing.
Given how 2016 has gone (no, it’s not the worst year ever, but a lot of crappy stuff has happened), perhaps Weltschmerz is likely to be the next.
Weltschmerz is an emotion, described thusly “The world isn’t perfect. More often than not it fails to live up to what we wish it was. Weltschmerz describes the pain we feel at this discrepancy.”
Which seems to about sum up most of my emotions over the past few months. The world COULD be so much better, but it isn’t, and that hurts.
Mind you, shortly on the heels of Weltschmerz we should probably just be describing everything as Kuddelmuddel, which describes an unstructured mess, chaos, or hodgepodge, as that’s certainly how things feel most of the time (or is that just me?).
That said, I’ve yet to find a word in any language that describes the annoyance you feel when, as you are walking along a quiet road with no vehicles passing you for most of your walk, that it’s only when you get to the corner that a car appears and so you have to stop and let it pass. This happens at least 2 or 3 times a week. Or, again, is that just me?
Language always evolves, that’s why it remains an important piece of our culture and whilst I think we could maybe do with adopting some new words into the English language, perhaps the very fact we might need them is the key lesson here.
Personally I’d much rather I didn’t have to feel weltschmerz in the first place.
P.S. I’m pretty sure I’ve butchered all sorts of rules in that last sentence. I’m sorry!