Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Neologism Contest

"If Schadenfreude were a stock, it would have set new highs around the globe Tuesday," wrote Randall Forsyth in Baron's.

Today's Schadenfreude spottings: Slate Magazine's article Why Washington hates Wall Street.

"But it's a sign of Brauchli's newbie status in Washington...that he should think reporters at the Washington Post feel anything other than schadenfreude about Wall Street's tumble in fortunes. They can't help it—they're Washingtonians... 'Isn't this exciting?' Rep. Ed Markey enthused to me on Oct. 19, 1987 ('Black Monday')"

And just in case you needed any more proof that the current state of Schadenfreude is dark indeed it's the Hdege Fund Implode-O-Meter.

The kind of Schadenfreude many of us have been feeling in the wake of the financial crisis has a different quality and character than the celebrity downfall gazing of a year ago. It's darker, blacker and angrier. Over at Psych Central John Grohol is talking about his emotions: "I find a strange melancholic amusement to learn that many of these investment banks’ CEOs and boards of directors — people being paid millions of dollars every year to purportedly know what their own companies are doing and how they make money — didn’t have a clue as to how deep their companies were into questionable financial practices."

I'm looking for suggestions for a new word that encapsulates this "melancholic amusement"- Schadenfreude tinged with a touch of sadness and foreboding. Please post your suggestions in the comments. The author of the winning word will get an autographed copy of Schadenfreude, Baby! and just maybe add a new word to our vocabulary. You can also enter by talking about this contest on your own blog. Just send me a link to your article, and I will enter your words into the contest too.

Deadline: October 1.