It’s a weird year. There’s a German word for that.

Karen Chee (@karencheee) is a comedy writer and performer based in New York.

The German language boasts an incredible variety of words, such as “schadenfreude” and “doppelganger,” that successfully express specific yet universal problems. The tongue is efficient enough to capture entire English phrases in a single term. Here are some proposed utterances to describe life in 2018.


The act of acquiring a new hobby despite the fact that we may all die in a nuclear bombfest very soon.


When you have become numb and normalized to some truly terrible evil in the news but your roommate leaving the toilet seat up still sends you into a rage.


The cold dread that floods your body when you’ve scrolled deep into someone’s social media history and accidentally liked a post from six years ago.


The devastation upon finding out that a company you like still supports the National Rifle Association.


The fear of inadvertently angering socially conscious people on the Internet.


The struggle of deciding between deleting your Facebook account to protect democracy and keeping it to stalk your old high school nemeses.


The frustrating lack of surprise that Nazis continue to spew hatred online despite several reports to the website’s management.


Relief that the feminist effort to fight against gender discrimination and for equal pay has finally culminated in a landmark achievement: Lady Doritos.


When your targeted ads know you better than your friends do.


When you absolutely cannot wait for the midterm elections.