Fiction School

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Neologism #4: Blogenfreude

Yesterday I drove out to West Sonoma County to visit two friends of mine who live in the Russian River area. I’ve always loved that partof the world. It’s a magical place, full of pixies and gnomes I can almost spot before they flitter away.

I spent much of my late teens and early twenties there. First I lived in what I affectionately referred to as my dollhouse, a miniature cabin replete with miniature everything—woodstove, kitchen, shower, even a tiny toilet! Later I spent a summer living with my boyfriend in a yurt. I hiked in the redwoods, spent long days at the beach, and generally savored the tumult and expansion of setting out on my own for the first time. Since I grew up only about thirty minutes away I’d hardly launched myself into a freshuniverse, but in some ways if felt as if I had.

Hanging out there yesterday, my friend Bart taught me a new word: Thanenfreude. It means “the joy or pleasureof tears.” Isn’t that amazing? It came up because we were talking about schadenfreude (the pleasure one takes in another’s misfortune), another favorite word of mine. Man, the Germans sure have a knack for getting specific about emotions—especially complex ones.

Here’s my neologism of the day: Blogenfreude. It describes the pleasure one takes in blogging after not having posted for like, three years. Literally .(Insert sheepish look here)

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