4 years ago1,000+ Views
Do you have have a certain kind of feeling that you can't explain? One that's not really sad, not really happy, but effects you anyways, but there isn't a word to describe it?
You're not the only one who feels that way; one person felt that way and thus, the dictionary of obscure sorrows was born. What's the goal of this dictionary?
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.
Which words have you been missing your entire life?


n. the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable—their pupils glittering, bottomless and opaque—as if you were peering through a hole in the door of a house, able to tell that there’s someone standing there, but unable to tell if you’re looking in or looking out.
"Another day, another week, another year. We've heard this song before. Our lives are built of the same few notes, repeated over and over. It’s not a grand symphony, full of surprises. It’s a song sung in canon, that simply carries on, until the tune gets stuck in your head. But then the verse changes over, and for the life of you, you can’t remember how it's supposed to go."
"vemödalen - n. the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist—the same sunset, the same waterfall, the same curve of a hip, the same closeup of an eye—which can turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap, like a mass-produced piece of furniture you happen to have assembled yourself."
@marshalledgar, I used to feel the same frustration you describe about photography, but then I saw a documentary about Henry Butler, a blind photographer from New Orleans, and it changed my approach to photography completely. In the documentary, Butler explains that he builds this mental processes in his head, that tells him when to press the shutter button of his camera. Henry Butler" on @Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Butler
What a great project! I think that there are some words that exist in other languages as well but not in all languages, which is part of the difficulty of expressing ourselves in any language other than our own, too.
I miss a word for the understanding that people who describe exactly how I feel, are doing me no favor.
I actually shuddered a little bit watching these; I could really, really relate. More than I expected, actually. Great series!
thanks for the link. gonna watch this. sounds really interesting
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