When It’s Not Funny

I was quite sad.

When I heard the laughter.

Because it wasn’t funny.

I asked my husband for a word to tag this with and he said:

 Schadenfreude.

Every language should have a word like this.

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43 thoughts on “When It’s Not Funny

  1. bikebrown says:

    Watching Boston Legal finally paid off.

  2. Colleen, I was born in Canada but my first language is German. There are so many German words that we have adopted into the English language! Schadenfreude is one that does not really have an English counterpart though – it’s a great and useful word. ❤
    Diana xo

  3. Yes, Yiddish is actually a great language for that as well, and not really so far from German. Amazing how sometimes foreign languages can give us that perfect word we are looking for.

  4. ksbeth says:

    sometimes it’s hard not to laugh, especially at inappropriate times. which only causes further laughter.

    • Oh absolutely Beth. I get that. I reference here, sadly, was prompted by me over hearing laughter about a situation that I never would have expected to hear from those I heard it from. It made me sad. (Not like farting in church kind of laughing- 😉

  5. I love the way that word rolls of the tongue. 😉 I agree with ksbeth.

  6. niaaeryn says:

    I think that Schadenfreude can become a part of English vernacular considering we have a great deal of Germanic words in the language anyway (Anglo-Saxon as a beginning then the loan words from Latin and here we are).

  7. mewhoami says:

    When people laugh at the wrong times, especially at someone’s expense, it’s never easy to listen to. People can be cruel, without even realizing it sometimes.

    • This is true. This may seem silly, but I had to stop watching “funny video” shows because I couldn’t find the humor in people getting hurt, falling, and choosing to do ridiculous things that ended up with them getting hurt. I never found myself laughing…I was horrified.

  8. markbialczak says:

    Sometimes the inappropriate laugh is also the contagious laugh, and I have no English word for when I want to stop and can’t, MBC.

    • THere has to be a word for that MBM. I want to know if there is any child who was reared in a church attending family who didn’t find themselves with aching guts from trying to not laugh during church. Or trying to not laugh during severe lectures from parents (the worst!).

      Some times things do happen to us and we can’t help it. But some things, they are just never funny. If it’s hurting someone, it’s not.

  9. My hubby uses this word from time to time. Sad.

  10. reocochran says:

    Such a ‘shame’ when people laugh at others or something that is NOT funny, Colleen. It can even be cruel. I am thankful to know this word, tell your husband: “Thank you.”

  11. tric says:

    I was watching Ryan O Neil being interviewed here in Ireland last week. He was speaking about his daughter Tatum and said something really really inappropriate about her. The audience laughed (in horror and shock, certainly not in agreement). Your post reminded me of that.

  12. There are also a Danish word for this, skadefryd, and I don’t like when the word is needed either Colleen.

  13. What a perfect word Colleen. There are times when I say things in my head because of how inappropriate people are and maybe this is one I need to say. I often wonder why it is people laugh when things aren’t funny. I’ve seen it so many times.
    I had to talk to my eldest recently about a joke she played on someone who has been teasing her all year. Instead of taking the high road, she finally decided enough was enough. And she got some laughs at the expense of someone else. She was so ashamed of herself – I had a talk with her, a good one mind you. I allowed her some wiggle room because she is still a child, although I had to remind her, I do not want to see an adult like that.

    • I’ve been so shocked at the things we allow to grow in our world. We continue to speak out against bullying (etc) but we create and foster an entertainment world where shows are based on the humiliation and embarrassment of others. I can’t stomach those things.

      Your daughter, you said she was ashamed, was that before you even spoke with her? It’s so hard to ‘take’ that kind of behavior as an adult and react gracefully. If she reacted and then felt ashamed, I’m impressed. Some adults would never have the class to know or feel the shame. It sounds like she has a wonderful teacher.

      • 🙂 I try Colleen. I explain to them how adults behave disgracefully with no accountability whatsoever. I need them to bear responsibility for their actions as early as possible so they own their mistakes and say they are sorry.
        I cannot stomach it either, so I hope I continue to be able to teach my kids
        that dignity is in being graceful enough to admit you are wrong and make it right somehow.

        • It’s like my post from the other day. The one when I first observed my boss say “I own that”. And it was such a simple lesson in responsibility. That by owning our mistakes and errors we truly do take such responsibility AND by doing so we regain control and the ability to do more with it. I think these are great things you are teaching your children. And to tell you the truth, though I learned these things as a child, when I see parents teaching them today….it’s always a great refresher course for me. 🙂

  14. April says:

    Good word. Never can understand why people laugh when it isn’t funny.

  15. Mustang.Koji says:

    Is that a real word?

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