pinpoint coinages, part n: Schadenfreude, cyberboor

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Feb 6 23:57:37 UTC 2000

On Sun, 6 Feb 2000, Laurence Horn wrote:

> (1)  In a review of a book _When Bad Things Happen to Other People_ in
> yesterday's New York Times (2/5/00, B9), Edward Rothstein explores the
> history of the concept (or at least the label) of Schadenfreude in English.
> refers to "R. C. Trench, an English archbishop who first referred to
> Schadenfreude in English in 1852", and sure enough, the OED, which I assume
> is his evidence for the first-cite claim, does give the Trench cite, but
> it's not clear that the Archbishop was actually using the word in English,
> so the argument for Trench as official coiner is not as obvious as
> Rothstein suggest.

One element of OED entries that is curiously omitted from the online
version, or at least the online version that Larry Horn and I use at Yale,
is the square brackets indicating that the quotation in question is not
strictly a usage of the term.  The Trench quotation is square-bracketed in
the print OED, and is clearly a usage of the German word.  The earliest
naturalized quotation in the OED is by C. Lowe (1895).

Fred R. Shapiro                             Coeditor (with Jane Garry)
Associate Librarian for Public Services     TRIAL AND ERROR: AN OXFORD
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            ANTHOLOGY OF LEGAL STORIES
Yale Law School                             Oxford University Press, 1998
e-mail: fred.shapiro at               ISBN 0-19-509547-2

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