sprachgefühl /SHPRAW-khgə-fyuul/. noun. A feeling for language, particularly an intuitive understanding of when language usage is appropriate, effective and “right.” A sense and feel for language. From German sprache (language) + gefühl (feeling).
“Sprachgefühl is a slippery eel, the odd buzzing in your brain that tells you that ‘planting the lettuce’ and ‘planting misinformation’ are different uses of ‘plant,’ the eye twitch that tells you that ‘plans to demo the store’ refers not to a friendly instructional stroll on how to shop but to a little exuberance with a sledgehammer. Not everyone has sprachgefühl, and you don’t know if you are possessed of it until you are knee-deep in the English language, trying your best to navigate the mucky swamp of it. I use ‘possessed of’ advisedly: You will never have sprachgefühl, but rather sprachgefühl will have you, like a Teutonic imp that settles itself at the base of your skull and hammers at your head every time you read something like ‘crispy-fried rice’ on a menu.” (Kory Stamper)
“SNOOT (n) (highly colloq) is this reviewer’s nuclear family’s nickname à clef for a really extreme usage fanatic, the sort of person whose idea of Sunday fun is to hunt for mistakes in the very prose of Safire’s column. This reviewer’s family is roughly 70 percent SNOOT, which term itself derives from an acronym, with the big historical family joke being that whether S.N.O.O.T. stood for ‘Sprachgefühl Necessitates Our Ongoing Ten-dance’ or ‘Syntax Nudniks Of Our Time’ depended on whether or not you were one.” (David Foster Wallace)
“…Sprachgefühl was no longer enough since words themselves pertained less to the senses or the body (as they had for Vico) and more to a sightless, imageless, and abstract realm ruled over by such hothouse formulations as race, mind, culture, and nation.” (Edward Said)