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Gregor Samsa
06-01-2002, 08:26 PM
A quick question for German-speakers:

Is there a word in German describing the concept of simultaneously exalting and vilifying something?

Qadgop the Mercotan
06-01-2002, 09:12 PM
Those germans! They just have a different word for everything!

Speaker for the Dead
06-01-2002, 09:15 PM
Is there a word for it in English?

LolaCocaCola
06-01-2002, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Speaker for the Dead
Is there a word for it in English?

hee hee!

:cool:

regnad kcin
06-01-2002, 09:19 PM
My German is pretty good, but I cant think of anything.

You might want to rephrase the question, though, if you want to include native German speakers who dont speak English as a native language, as many might not know what "exalt" or "vilify" mean.

"Praise and ridicule" come to mind, for example, and communicate your question just as clearly without making you look quite so arrogant.

Gregor Samsa
06-01-2002, 09:24 PM
I don't believe there is a word for it in English - the closest I could come up with was love-hate, but that doesn't really cover it.

I figured any language that had a word for "shameful joy" must have a word for this.

kanicbird
06-01-2002, 10:22 PM
Is there a word for it in English?

Nortorious?

peepthis
06-01-2002, 10:24 PM
Do you mean in the sense of "damning with faint praise", or perhaps more like a "backhanded compliment"?

David Simmons
06-02-2002, 03:28 AM
Originally posted by Speaker for the Dead
Is there a word for it in English?

Ah, but in German there is the practice of running a whole bunch of words together to make a new word. Such as fliegerabwehrkanonen. I'll let the German speakers give the literal translation but it is antiaircraft artillery.

Koxinga
06-02-2002, 03:37 AM
Originally posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
Those germans! They just have a different word for everything!

Caught the Steve Martin reference--good show, old boy. Unless that's not what you meant.

donkeyoatey
06-02-2002, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by Speaker for the Dead
Is there a word for it in English?

Wouldn't that be sarcasm?

Qadgop the Mercotan
06-02-2002, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by Doghouse Reilly


Caught the Steve Martin reference--good show, old boy. Unless that's not what you meant.

Yes, that's what I meant.

Lamia
06-02-2002, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by David Simmons

Ah, but in German there is the practice of running a whole bunch of words together to make a new word.

Something we never do in English. :rolleyes:

As far as I know there is no such word in German. It would be possible to construct one by "running a whole bunch of words together", but it would be equally possible to do this in English -- or even to form a compound based on Latin or Greek, like so many English words.

Gregor Samsa
06-02-2002, 07:12 PM
I'll tell you the reason I'm asking the question, if it helps - I'll try to do so with as little arrogance as possible.

I'm back in university after some years' absence, and I am currently writing a paper for a history course. The thesis of the paper is something along the lines of, "White mainstream Canadian society's attitude towards Native cultures in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was marked by a mixture of vilification and admiration, often seeming to exist simultaneously."

When I was last in school (10 years ago now), I thought I had run across a word in German that referred to that kind of simultaneous disdain and admiration.

Possibly not, though, from what I understand now.

Thanks for your help.

David Simmons
06-02-2002, 07:22 PM
Originally posted by Lamia


Something we never do in English. :rolleyes:

I don't believe I said that.

... It would be possible to construct one by "running a whole bunch of words together", but it would be equally possible to do this in English ...

Yes it would be possible in English. But isn't the far more common mode in English to put a hyphen in there somewhere? I suppose for every example of making one word of of several without hyphens in English there are maybe as many as ten such examples in German. Mark Twain had a lot of fun with this in The Awful German Language. But maybe having a little fun is a no-no.

It wouldn't be surprising if all languages have their little idiosyncrasies

David Simmons
06-02-2002, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by Lamia


Something we never do in English. :rolleyes:

I don't believe I said that.

... It would be possible to construct one by "running a whole bunch of words together", but it would be equally possible to do this in English ...

Yes it would be possible in English. But isn't the far more common mode in English to put a hyphen in there somewhere? I suppose for every example of making one word of of several without hyphens in English there are maybe as many as ten such examples in German. Mark Twain had a lot of fun with this in The Awful German Language. But maybe having a little fun is a no-no.

It wouldn't be surprising if all languages have their little idiosyncrasies

Incidently, pipeliner, according to Twain all you have to do is look up the German words for "disdain" and "admiration," put und between them, run them together and voila!, you have what you are looking for.

Gregor Samsa
06-02-2002, 07:45 PM
Maybe I'll try that in this paper, David.

Dankeundgutnacht.

ratatoskK
06-02-2002, 09:49 PM
Do you mean Schadenfreude?

Although if I were writing the paper, I'd try to use a word in English. Professors can tell when you're trying to be pretentious.

Lamia
06-02-2002, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by ratatoskK
Although if I were writing the paper, I'd try to use a word in English. Professors can tell when you're trying to be pretentious.

This is good advice. If such a word even exists it is obviously not well known, so Pipeliner would have to explain what it means anyway. Since the paper is not about Germany, the German language, or any related subject, there is no reason to use an obscure German word.

pulykamell
06-03-2002, 07:18 AM
Yeah, it certainly sounds like the word you may have encountered was "Schadenfreude," but it doesn't really explain the concept you've given. Schadenfreude is basically taking pleasure in another person's pain or misfortune. I have a strong feeling that this is word that's flagging your memory.

I think "schadenfreude" is fairly well-established within academic circles (like "zeitgeist" or even "weltanshauung") that it wouldn't be necessarily construed as pretentious. That said, these aren't the words you're looking for, so any German construction we may find to explain your concept will be obscure. What's wrong with the simple "love-hate relationship." Too colloquial?

Gregor Samsa
06-03-2002, 12:52 PM
"Schadenfreude" may well have been the word. Thanks.

"Love-hate relationship" isn't exactly the concept I was looking for.

Also, just to clarify: I wasn't necessarily going to use the word in the paper - researching the paper just reminded me that I might have run across such a word in the past. In other words, I thought that there was an existing, widely-accepted word that I simply couldn't think of at the time. I was being curious more than pretentious or arrogant (I think - or maybe not.)

Thanks again, everyone.

ratatoskK
06-03-2002, 07:42 PM
Sorry Pipeliner if I was too hard on you! Actually I've been getting quite a laugh thinking about "Canadian Schadenfreude;" it sounds like something from Saturday Night Live!

The Scrivener
06-03-2002, 09:07 PM
Forget about using compounded English words; why not just say that the Can-Ams' feelings or perceptions of the native populations were contradictory or conflicting, or were marked by ambivalence, uncertainty, and indecisiveness?

:D

mobo85
06-04-2002, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by pulykamell
Yeah, it certainly sounds like the word you may have encountered was "Schadenfreude," but it doesn't really explain the concept you've given. Schadenfreude is basically taking pleasure in another person's pain or misfortune.

Oh, like when a clown dies.