I regularly find myself needing a word to describe something for which there isn’t yet a word. There’s are so many new experiences and life is changing all around us, yet we use the same old words to describe them, and these words are so often inadequate.
As an example, I have a family member who has a chronic illness and people ask me how she is and all I have to respond with is “OK”. I can’t say that she is “fine” because she isn’t, but she’s no worse than she was yesterday so it doesn’t seem right to say “ill” or “poorly” because somehow “poorly” describes a situation where someone is going to get better. So we resort to the inadequate “OK” and a facial expression that tries to indicate “OK Good” or “OK Not Good”.
John Keonig had the same experience and so he started collating The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.
Watch John introducing the Dictionary and the idea behind it at TED:
There’s also a fabulous YouTube channel for the words:
Morii: The Desire to Capture a Fleeting Experience
This is something I regularly experience.
Sonder: The Realization That Everyone Has A Story
This is something I wish more people would experience more regularly.