Missing words (finally) revisited. PLUS: A genuine milestone, and a new icebreaker
Hmmm I swear this happens multiple times daily: the moments in interactions where one of the parties decides to accept miscommunication for the overall good of a conversation. Needs a word!
Like when you can't understand what someone's saying and you've asked "what?" too many times, so you take the gamble that it wasn't important and go "ohhh I see, yeah haha..." so you can move on.
Or when someone in a debate realizes that they and the other person are just talking past each other and the conversation is going nowhere, so they swallow their pride and let it go.
It's funny, I never made the connection before, between the words "quest" and "question " till I read this week's Newsletter. Thanks!
This artist participated in the Grand Rapids ArtsPrize 10 with her Sonder exhibition. I saw the work and book this summer and had a chance to chat with the artist. It was an introduction to sonder for me.
Infrathin and Notfornuthin had a rebellious child named Fughetaboutit.
When you can't remember the name of something it is Whatchamacallit.
When you can't remember the name of a person it is A Whatshisface or a Whatsherface.
Please note the above statements have not been vetted, and are whimsical in nature.
Epic edition! I was reminded of Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” who is well well over 50 and tries and fails to learn piano and maybe some other instruments? The movie was from 2008 so I may have some details wrong.
I loved this newsletter! this is one of my favourite concepts to read/write about, especially because of how intriguing, thought-provoking and most of all, relatable these words and definitions can be.
Wanted to share a few (slightly) related articles I read about words and their meanings:
The Glossary of Happiness - Emily Anthes (for The New Yorker) - https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-glossary-of-happiness?utm_campaign=likeshopme&client_service_id=31202&utm_social_type=owned&utm_brand=tny&service_user_id=1.78e+16&utm_content=instagram-bio-link&utm_source=instagram&utm_medium=social&client_service_name=the%20new%20yorker&supported_service_name=instagram_publishing_. (It discusses how different cultures' words, and thus concepts, of 'joy' shape our understanding of the emotion, as well as the emotions/sentiments.)
Another one is 'Do Words for Emotions—Like “Happy” or “Fear”—Mean the Same Thing in Every Language?' - a piece from the Behavioural Scientist. (https://behavioralscientist.org/emotions-does-love-mean-the-same-thing-in-turkey-as-it-does-in-the-usa/)
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows definitely remains a personal favourite, though. Thanks for this!
I can't remember if someone already said this and I'm just internalizing. Apologies if it's redundant, but we need a word for ...
Mourning the loss of something you never had. For example, the career you didn't choose or the person you didn't marry.
One of my fave things is @susie_dent twitter word of the day an old now unused word that describes something brilliantly. She is on quiz show about words and maths called countdown.
I think the nicest copliment I ever received was given to me by an old black gentleman. I had stopped my car in the entrance of the parking garage in downtown Philadelphia to rescue a baby pigeon. He was walking down the on ramp to do the same thing. He looked at me and said, "You have God in you." He smiled and walked back up the ramp. That was more than 30 years ago but I can still hear his voice and see his face, especially his eyes. More than likely, he was God.
Greetings from "The Hub of the Universe" aka Boston.
My suggestion for the The Number Is... is make a numbered list of either 10 tasks, or 10 items to notice, thus creating your own little lottery.
When the Number is called, find the corresponding number on your list, and do that action.
Frozenheart? Your heart is always warm but your body can be frozen. Sometimes you need an extern environment to know that it is you, you need to warm yourself.
PreHeating? this is a function of some thermostats where it turns on the heat before programmed time to be at temperature X so that at that time it is already warmed up to X.
In the desert southwest of the US, we have the inverse feeling but still about heat. When you're overly chilled from AC and anticipate the first few moments of going outside, when the sun will envelope and warm you all the way into your bones.
The audiobook of The Lost Words is great!
Massive thanks for these Rob. Prompted me to revisit the Meaning of Liff for the first time in more than 20 years, wonderful book. I also picked up the latest entry ”After Life” and was presently surprised to find my own village listed there: “Penton Mewsey - An innocuous-sounding question your partner asks you to which there is only one acceptable answer”.