Oh, I’m so proud. I got that spelled right the first time. I looked it up on It’s a great site — it has a dictionary and thesaurus and all kinds of other references. I use it today because that’s what I’m experiencing now when I read the newspaper: schadenfreude.

The online dictionary simply defines it as pleasure derived from someone else’s misfortune. If you want to learn how to say it, Refdesk also has pronunciation available. That’s a nice feature.

Since I was laid off from working at the newspaper, I haven’t been as devoted a reader. Now I just read it for the schadenfreude. I love to see all the errors — especially in headlines. If a name is spelled one way in the story, don’t you think they could get it right in the headline?

Poor John Travolta. He’s been getting lambasted over messing up Idina Menzel’s name on the Oscars. has a program where you can find out how Travolta would mess up YOUR name! Friends have been posting on Facebook how their names would be mangled.

It’s one thing to be live and not be able to read the teleprompter, but in the newspaper you’d think they’d doublecheck the names — especially when they’re big names dropped by little people.

Today in The Forum, a local movie critic cited Gene Shalit and Joel Siegel as being influences in his career. Unfortunately, they were spelled Gene Shallot (like the onion) and Joe Siegel (perhaps Joel’s lesser-known cousin). So the writer knew that Roger Moore is also an actor, and made that point several times in the story, since the local movie critic shares that name.

Maybe the writer forgot to use Google. Or Or Wikipedia. Or Bing. Had I been writing the story, trust me, I would have looked up ALL the names. That’s schadenfreude. And I guess that makes me human, too. Like the human who actually wrote the story and winced when he realized it was wrong.

Ah, but in the newspaper business, we say, “Eh, they’ll line their litterboxes with it tomorrow.” In the case of the Oscars, it remains forever on YouTube and BuzzFeed and Facebook.


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