Word of the Week

Weltschmerz

(from the German, meaning world-pain or world-weariness, pronounced [ˈvɛltʃmɛɐ̯ts]) is a term coined by the German author Jean Paul and denotes the kind of feeling experienced by someone who understands that physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind. This kind of world view was widespread among several romantic authors such as Lord Byron, Giacomo Leopardi, François-René de Chateaubriand, Alfred de Musset, Nikolaus Lenau, Hermann Hesse, and Heinrich Heine. It is also used to denote the feeling of anxiety caused by the ills 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 inappropriateness and cruelty of the world and (physical and social) circumstances.

Literary word of interest:

 

Contronyms are words (or sometimes short expressions) which have two more or less opposite meanings.

BoltTo hold together (as in mechanical bolting) or to separate by fleeing.

Garnish:  To add to (as with food preparation ) or to take away (as with wages).

Hold up:  To support (as in Liberty holding up the torch) or to impede (as in holding up legislation).

Trim: To decorate (as with a Christmas tree) or to remove excess (as with a mustache).

Wind up:  To start (as with a clock) or to end (as with a business).