There are many reasons to like the English language, the foremost being that I wrote a post about it awhile ago. There are also many things to hate about it. Many, many, many things. But the failing I’m here to discuss is the distinct lack of situation-suitable words. Sure, English may use defenestration, meaning the act of throwing someone out of a window, but does it have backpfeifengesischt, a German word roughly meaning “a face badly in need of a fist”? Because we all know those people. Every country on Earth has them, but apparently Germany has enough of them that they coined their own sneeze of a word to easier identify these people.
|"I don't know what it is about your face... I just wanna |
deliver one of these into your suck hole." -Step Brothers (2008)
Everyone knows schadenfreude (except Microsoft Word), or the pleasure of seeing other people’s misfortune. Another German word. Sorry for picking on you, Germany, but if you saw someone you didn’t like get punched in the face and you felt good about it, you’d have a much better constructed sentence to write than this monstrosity. What I’m going to do is try and pick a couple of universal situations that people can all attest to, and then create some words so it’s easier to tell a story to your disinterested friends later. You’ll get it as we go along, believe me. My blog posts are like a card game: only my family plays along! Heyoooo. What? Oh, yeah, this whole thing starts now.
I’ll start with one that I've been using for years (thanks to Brian T.):
Combrumption: (cum-brump-shun) The feeling of a large friend group splitting up without knowing the specifics of where they will be reuniting. “Jeeze, guys, we've been talking about two different Wendy’s parking lots for five minutes now, this is just one huge combrumption.”
Seletoma: (sel-ah-toh-mah) The awkward silence after a large laugh where nobody has anything new to contribute. “The date was going really well until this huge seletoma set in, and we just looked at each other.” (Also acceptable: “I swear, sometimes it feels like my life is just one long seletoma.”)
Gryphyll: (gri-full) A moment of brief indecision where you try to decide if additional minimal work is worth the minimal reward. “I accidentally ate after brushing my teeth last night, and woke up this morning with pieces of carrot still stuck in my teeth. I guess I went the wrong way on that gryphyll last night.”
Creent: (kreent) The silent look that two drivers share about a third driver behaving oddly. “This guy ahead of me went straight from the left turn lane. I met eyes with a lady across the intersection and there was major creent.”
RELATED: This is more of a concept than a word but I want to introduce the Right On Red Paradox: When a fear of running out of time prevents you from acting with what, upon reflection, was ample time. Named after waiting to turn right at a stoplight but refusing, fearing oncoming traffic, only to realize that if you had turned when you had originally decided not to, you would have had plenty of room. This effect is recursive, and you commonly think, upon the Nth time deciding not to go, “Even if I had left the (N-1) time I decided not to, I would have had enough time!”
-Also called the Candy Thief Paradox for when someone leaves the room, forgetting something, such as candy, money, or an unlocked Facebook account, and you don’t take advantage for fear of them returning too quickly.
-Also also called the Roommate’s at Class Paradox for reasons I’m not going to delve into here.