Streams

Global English: Opportunity

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The world's current lingua franca picks up words and phrases from other languages and sends them back again.  Leslie Dunton-Downer, author of The English is Coming!: How One Language is Sweeping the World, explores some of these.

We want your suggestions!  Nominate a word that should be a part of "global English" here.

Guests:

Leslie Dunton-Downer
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Comments [9]

Amy from Manhattan

I like that idea of bringing back English terms that have fallen out of common usage. I have 2 to suggest: "Gentlefolk," which I've used as the salutation in letters to businesses or organizations as a gender-neutral replacement for "Gentlemen," & "elder" instead of euphemisms like "senior" (high school or college?), at least until calling someone "old" isn't considered insulting.

Oct. 28 2010 12:07 PM
Patricia Connelly from Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Doh! Mike beat me to "Schadenfreude". I have hoping to feel a lot more of it during the Great Recession/Global Financial Meltdown. Alas, no high profile perp walks to date--what gives?!

Another favorite German phrase of mine - "Sturm und Drang" - comes to my mind often these days as the mother of two teenagers!

Oct. 28 2010 12:03 PM
Patricia Connelly from Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Doh! Mike beat me to "Schadenfreude". I have hoping to feel a lot more of it during the Great Recession/Global Financial Meltdown. Alas, no high profile perp walks to date--what gives?!

Another favorite German phrase of mine - "Sturm und Drang" - comes to my mind often these days as the mother of two teenagers!

Oct. 28 2010 12:02 PM
Richard Storm from Hell's Kitchen

Two from German: fisselig: the state of being flustered to the point of incompetence brought on by nagging or aggressive supervision (think of spouses teaching their mates to drive). Papierkrieg: complicated paperwork designed to create an obstacle to an official complaint or search for redress.

Oct. 28 2010 12:01 PM
susan in nyc

Caio (chou) and voila.

Oct. 28 2010 12:00 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

I like the French phrase 'Tant pis por vous!'

I even use the abbreviation for my s-corp.

Oct. 28 2010 12:00 PM
Robert from NYC

Yes, in Italy labels are marked "Made in Italy".

Oct. 28 2010 11:59 AM
Yosif from manhattan

I have a word I'm trying to coin. Empatherrassment = empathetic embarrassment. When you feel embarrassed for other people - think the gong show, or Jersey shore, or showtime at the Apollo. Everybody knows the feeling but there is no word in it for any language I know.

Oct. 28 2010 11:59 AM
Mike from NY, NY

There is an old German term that most know but somehow never seems to have caught on. schadenfreude: the shameful, self-righteous smugness at others' misfortunes. I think an acceptable Anglicization of this term is sorely needed as I listen to the "Big" people who have not suffered in the Great Recession chide the great unwashed about the sins of unemployment insurance and of having fallen prey to fraudulent mortgage schemes sold by the bank's consummate hucksters.

Oct. 28 2010 11:12 AM

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