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Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Gewohnheitstier

How strict is your daily routine? If you follow a rigid plan, hoot like a monkey. This German word is for you.

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Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every day, always take the same bus to work, and follow the same route every time you go jogging?

The Germans would call you an animal. A Gewohnheitstier to be precise - that is, a "habit animal."

For a true Gewohnheitstier, it can be a real emotional challenge to set the alarm clock 10 minutes later or order the turkey sandwich instead of the usual egg salad for lunch. But degrading the routine-lover to the animal kingdom does seem a bit harsh. After all, routines can be comforting and healthy for our sleep rhythms and digestive tracts.

But even a Gewohnheitstier can't control everything. When the supermarket runs out of your favorite strawberry yogurt, you might just have to try blueberry. Who knows? You just might like it better.

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