The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows


I often feel something and don't have the perfect word or way of expressing it. Other languages, particularly German, often do a better job of expressing a nuanced feeling with a single word. A perfect example is Fernweh, which describes the feeling of wanting to be somewhere else. I can't think of a synonym in English, and this is a feeling I often have!  Friends/family, don't get paranoid --- it's not you, it's me! Finally, someone has taken this challenge and gone about creating words with similar such nuanced meanings for the English language. 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  defining word. In it are such gems as Vemödalen which means ... 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. Wow, I have felt this emotion frequently! It is almost like an Urban Dictionary for emotions, and I love it! The print edition will be released sometime in the future, and, lucky for all of us, new words are added frequently.