March 9th, 2005



Rich Lowry (a columnist) was writing about the Democrats' discomfort with the good news coming out of the Middle East, and he used a German word I hadn't seen before. I don't know if it's a real German word, but it ought to be embraced by all us wordsmiths.

Lowry contrasted Schadenfreude (taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others) with (ta da!) Gluckschmerz (which can only be feeling pain at the good fortune of others). Isn't that a lovely word?

German is just full of cool words like this. Some of my favorites include:
Treppenwitz, literally "stairway joke" (the witty saying that occurs to you AFTER you've already said good night and are heading down your friend's apartment stairs toward your car -- too late);

Teppichfresser, "carpet chewer" (a thrower of colossal tantrums);

and, of course, Dukatenkacker, "ducat [an old-fashioned word for money] crapper" (someone who is so rich that he . . . well, you know.

And they say German isn't a beautiful language.

Nail it to the church door

Something yechezkiel said in a recent thread reminded me of this article I wrote in the Fall of 2003 as all us UMs were gearing up for General Conference 2004. Some of the particulars referenced are therefore a little dated; unfortunately, none of the situations I diagnosed have changed.

I offer it now for all the hardcore church junkies. I have reason to believe that The UMC is not the only denomination I could describe with these observations.

Collapse )

New craft skills

My confirmation class is about to start a long-delayed, massive project: the creation and installation of stained glass windows. We're starting with a life-sized nativity angel; we will follow that up eventually with a matched pair of resurrection angels.

Collapse )