Verschlimmbesserung

by Ben Perreira

I love the nuance that different languages provide to similar situations. There is a French word, bricolage, that has no English translation, but it refers to the act of doing chores or enjoying hobbies at home.

I have never studied German, but it seems like an interesting language. The words are 75 letters long and perplexing to the English-speaking tongue, with the exception of the many words that are exactly the same in English. I came across the German word, verschlimmbesserung, which means to try to make something better but actually make it worse.

Neil Young offers a lucid English translation in the clip above.

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