The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows Creates Words For Unnamed Feelings
The Internet is full of surprises. One of these pleasant oases of intelligence, creativity and artistic genius is the website & YouTube channel The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows. The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows is a fairly unknown website that posts incredibly inspiring, thoughtful and philosophically profound pieces of writing and video. The great writing, paired with the great editing and unique film work on the channel, makes me surprised this channel isn’t more popular. Started as a website, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is, well, pretty much what it says. Created by John Koenig, a writer and graphic designer, The Dictionary is a collection of words, created by John, that describes emotions, experiences, and sorrows for which there aren’t currently words for where there really should be.
On his journey, John has tackles some philosophically profound topics, leaving you with a sense of wonder that someone could so accurately describe one event or another in your life, and wrap it up in one word. And although the words John creates are just from his mind, and aren’t actual words, I hope writers will start using them, as they seriously need to be integrated into our language. And, if you research a little, you can see that he actually uses other languages, mythology, and more to craft his perspicuous words.
To illustrate that, here are some examples of some words for which he has only written definitions (not created a video) on his website:
Lachesism – n. the desire to be struck by disaster—to survive a plane crash, to lose everything in a fire, to plunge over a waterfall—which would put a kink in the smooth arc of your life, and forge it into something hardened and flexible and sharp, not just a stiff prefabricated beam that barely covers the gap between one end of your life and the other.
Gnossienne – n. a moment of awareness that someone you’ve known for years still has a private and mysterious inner life, and somewhere in the hallways of their personality is a door locked from the inside, a stairway leading to a wing of the house that you’ve never fully explored—an unfinished attic that will remain maddeningly unknowable to you, because ultimately neither of you has a map, or a master key, or any way of knowing exactly where you stand.
Jouska – n. a hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head—a crisp analysis, a cathartic dialogue, a devastating comeback—which serves as a kind of psychological batting cage where you can connect more deeply with people than in the small ball of everyday life, which is a frustratingly cautious game of change-up pitches, sacrifice bunts, and intentional walks.
As you can see, these words and definitions are truly incredible. They make you think, and in a way you never have before, about your life’s experiences. And the video series that John has created to go along with the website only enhances the experience. With great animation, unique videos and intriguing new ways of filming, The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows’ channel and their videos make for an extraordinary experience to watch. Watch the videos above for my favorite of his videos, click HERE to go to his channel, or go HERE to visit his site!