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May 24, 2017
This week’s theme
Words borrowed from German

This week’s words
gemutlich
anschauung
gesellschaft

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gesellschaft

PRONUNCIATION:
(guh-ZEL-shaft)

MEANING:
noun: Social relations based on impersonal ties, such as obligations to an institution or society.

ETYMOLOGY:
From German Gesellschaft (society, company, party), from Geselle (companion) + -schaft (-ship). Earliest documented use: 1964.

NOTES:
The counterpart of gesellschaft is gemeinschaft (social relations based on personal ties). The German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies described the two in his 1887 book Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft (Community and Society).

USAGE:
“As with those small-town figures, the doorman’s knowledge of a person can be worrying, but it is comforting, too. The doorman is a touch of Gemeinschaft in an ever more Gesellschaft world.”
James Collins; Why Doormen?; The New York Times; Apr 25, 2010.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom. -Bob Dylan, singer-songwriter, Nobel laureate (b. 24 May 1941)

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