Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Words, words and more words.....

 Today I bought "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows" by John Koenig. I have mentioned this book before in an earlier post. It's a must read for anyone interested in words. Basically, it is a lexicon of terms the author has coined to deal with those feelings we all have, but are unable to express because there aren't words for them.

The "sorrow" in the title is partly because our common language - English - is missing so many words to describe complex emotions and partly because struggling through life might not seem so lonely, if we had the words to share our common experiences.

The author's words, though uncommon, are offered to create a common understanding among us. For example, the word "trumspringa" was coined to describe the concept of our thoughts wandering off from our career path or current occupation to dream of owning a small farm, living off the grid, being a shepherd in the mountains......etc.

I'm not a fan of the actual word, but I am guilty of daydreaming almost constantly. I dream of creating a new Giverny (Monet's garden) somewhere in Southern Ontario or living out the Winter writing in some warm, secluded place.

Koenig created the word from a "mash-up" of the German word for city centre "stadtzentrum" and the Pennsylvania Dutch (German) word "rumspringa" - to hop around, presumably out of the city or out of our confined life style. I think that I might go with a word like "somnity" from the Latin, somnium, for dreams or nonsense. The word has that sense of drifting, floating to places in your mind that may never be realized. These daydreams or nonsensical notions take us from the tasks at hand, making life a little more bearable perhaps.

"Today my somnity took me to a small cottage in Devon, where I gathered roses."

Have a sominous day!

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