Thursday, June 01, 2006

And the Losing Word Is....Weltschmerz

Finola Mei Hwa Hackett of Canada, the second place finisher in the 2006 National Spelling Bee, lost when she stumbled last night on this word:

"Weltschmerz is a term coined by the German author Jean Paul and denotes the kind of feeling experienced by someone who understands that the physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind. This kind of pessimistic world view was widespread among several romantic authors such as Lord Byronn, Giacomo Leopardi, François-René de Chateaubriand, Alfred de Musset, Nikolaus Lenau and Heinrich Heine.

It is also used to denote the feeling of sadness when thinking about the evils of the world.

The modern meaning of Weltschmerz in the German language is the psychological pain caused by sadness, that can occur when realizing that someone's own weaknesses are caused by the inappropiateness and cruelness of the world and (physical and social) circumstances. "

Take heart, Finola. Lately, we all feel a bit of loss via weltschmerz.....

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