I sat this morning....looking over an article that an American/Brit wrote over a German 'event', and they used the word 'zany'.
The original German article (I went back and read the German piece) had used the word "VERRUCKT".
One of the thousand things that I've kinda figured out about the German language (I think Mark Twain had ten-thousand such things)....is that certain words don't literally translate to English or vice-versa. There are simply some words which could have several different meanings, and as an English-minded person hears it.....his mind is clicking away for a translation-word, and this is the best he can do.
Verruckt.....in this case....literally means crazy, mad, loony, nutty, foolish, eccentric, goofy, or perhaps.....zany.
Most people would look over the meanings and say that it's a pretty wide dispersal of activity here. For example, your German co-worker could sit on day one of your new job and discuss the behavior of the boss.....saying: "Sie ist verruckt". You, the American with some brief German integration classes, would sit and pause over this comment....the boss lady is crazy? The boss lady is mad? The boss lady is nutty? The boss lady is goofy?
You'd sit there for thirty seconds....trying to think of a polite question to toss at your new friend and wondering in American slang.....is the boss lady certifiably crazy or perhaps absolute nuts? Eventually, you ask the question in the right German format.
The answer in response to the question? The boss lady wears green every day.....green blouses, green dresses, green shoes, green jackets, and even green purses. They didn't really mean that she was crazy but that she was a bit eccentric.
So I go back to the original story that started this whole discussion on verruckt. It involves.....Donald Trump.
I know.....it's hard to go an entire day in Germany now without some state-run news journalist getting hyped up and worried about a possible Donald Trump presidency.....replacing the Nobel Peace Prize presidency of Barrack Obama. These state-run news episodes always go to some suggestive piece for the public not to fear this event because the American public will side with Hillary Clinton and peace, tranquility, serenity, calm, order, and sedateness will reign over the people of Germany. Note, sedateness usually means you smoked some weed and took enough pain-killers to blitz yourself into some nightmare world that seems happy and wonderful.
At this point in the primary period and approach to November, you have to start to consider the idea that the Trump presidency just might happen. For some Germans, it's the end of reality and reason. For eight long years, they knew they could rely upon the brilliant leadership of President Obama in a crazy mixed-up world. When the chips fell in the Ukraine....well....forget that example. When the chips fell in Syria.....well....forget that example. When the chips fell in Benghazi.....well....forget that example. When the chips fell in Egypt.....well....forget that example. When the chips needed to be arranged in the Iran nuclear deal....well...forget that example.
In a way, I see these German journalists and intellectuals at some crazy point where they'd like to hype their discontent and frustration, and the argument conveyed is like convincing the German public that speed limits on the autobahn is a good thing or that pension reform will finally reach a successful conclusion.
Will verrucktphobia hit German society? An irrational fear of craziness, zaniness, or pyscho-behavior? If diagnosed with verrucktphobia.....what do you do? Are there pills for this? Do you go through a twelve-hour seminar of 'love-Donald'? Do you modify yourself enough to accept screwy or unbalanced people? Will some German intellectual appear out of the wilderness (the Hunsruck or Borg) to talk up the positive acceptance of the silly and deranged things in life.....to include a Trump presidency?
I'm not too worried about America and what happens after the November election.....but I worry a bit about my verruckt German associates.