‘An Era of Schadenfreude’

Imagine not knowing how to say you’re tired. It wouldn’t make sense, right? And yet there’s an emotion that most of us experience all the time..that we awkwardly don’t name.

If you don’t know the word “schadenfreude,” you’re not alone. In fact, its history is full of people who didn’t want to bring it into the English language. 

Schadenfreude is when you’re interested in, or happy about, the misfortune of others.

In more practical terms, it’s when you laugh at a video of someone falling, read all the details of some scandal, watch reality TV, or (let’s be honest) read the news. How often do they report “man gets his mail” without some catastrophe attached to it?

It’s been said that we’re currently living in an era of schadenfreude because, when you think about it, many of our forms of entertainment focus on reveling in someone else’s misfortune. It’s created some new moral conundrums that I find fascinating!

Get all the information in episode 66 of the Vocabbett podcast! You can listen above, or watch the accompaniment below:


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