Feb. 10, 2021

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

I've heard of this YouTube channel/website in the past before from Vsauce, and I've now heard it from Solar Sands after watching his video about liminal spaces. I decided to finally check it out to see what I would find, and I think I've really discovered something truly beautiful.

"The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for."

So, what are these invented words? Here are a few which I find to give off a particular kind of somber quality that I personally resonate with:

  1. sonder - n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.
  2. vemödalen - n. the fear that everything has already been done.
  3. ambedo - n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details.
  4. socha - n. the hidden vulnerability of others.
  5. moment of tangecy - phr. a glimpse of what might have been.
  6. silience - n. the kind of unnoticed excellence that carries on around you every day, unremarkably.

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Aren't they just brilliant? They each manage to capture that one specific feeling, and John eloquently articulates them using both video and speech so perfectly well.

I hope to use in a purposeful way at least one of these words or phrases and delightfully explain what exactly I was trying to say.

Be kind and keep striving!

Written by Quarter

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Comments
JustMegawatt
Posted On Feb 12, 2021

Yeah those words are great! I especially like the definition of Sonder

iyazo
Posted On Feb 12, 2021

Language is beautiful. Thanks for sharing! I personally like "komorebi" which is a Japanese word for the scattered sunlight passing through the leaves of trees.

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