For those of us mildly addicted to airport departure lounges, it is always a surprise to learn others prefer staying at home. The novelist Kingsley Amis captured the stay-at-home sentiment in the title of one of his early novels, I Like it Here, by which he meant England (despite living in Wales). After the past pandemic year, however, Amis’ liking for Blighty would surely have paled a bit, though travel isn’t always what it is cracked up to be. One person’s idea of heaven is another person’s idea of hell. But in these days of colour-coded travel restrictions there may be perverse consolation in reading about destinations others have found surprisingly disappointing. How appropriate that the word we use to describe our enjoyment of others’ disappointments is a word from abroad: Schadenfreude.
Word Watch: Wrest
The word is often overlooked in favour of “wrestle”.