Trend Watch

Weltanschauung

When:

Lookups spiked on May 3, 2014.

Why:

A freshman at Princeton wrote an editorial complaining about those on campus who tell him to "check his privilege" – in other words, to acknowledge his fortunate position as a student at a prestigious American university. He writes of the difficult lives and hard work of his parents and grandparents, the people who shaped his view of the world.

He defends that point of view as the only one he knows, writing that people who tell him to "check his privilege" take a position of moral superiority regarding "the nerve I displayed in offering an opinion rooted in a personal Weltanschauung." This quote was reprinted in several news stories and editorials discussing the essay.

Weltanschauung is the German word that literally means "worldview," its synonym in English. It is used to refer to "a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint."

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February 28, 2015
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