Merriam-Webster sees 30,500% spike in ‘schadenfreude’ searches following Trump diagnosis

As thousands of online reference guide users have recently learned, the dictionary defines “schadenfreude” as “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.” 

Melania and Donald Trump

On Friday morning, Merriam-Webster reported a 30,500% increase in queries for the word following the revelation that Donald and Melania Trump had contracted COVID-19 — which, of course, came after months of the White House’s insufficient and ineffective response to the pandemic

Use it as a search term pretty much anywhere and you’ll unleash a vitriolic torrent of accusations, anger, and — why, yes — schadenfreude! The condensed version can best be summarized by a recent Mashable headline: “Trump announced he has COVID-19, so of course, Twitter descended into chaos.” Yep. Chaos.

As Robert Reich discusses in today’s opinion piece for the Guardian, “how can we have empathy for the world’s least empathetic man.. . .”

For about a minute today I found myself feeling sorry for Donald Trump. The poor man is now “battling” Covid-19 (the pugilistic verb is showing up all over the news). He’s in the hospital. He’s out of shape. He’s 74 years old. . . . His chief of staff reportedly says his symptoms are “very concerning”. Robert Reich

Continue in Sources: Mashable , The Guardian