Language is funny thing. We feel liberated using it, and at the same time there is also a strange kind of entrapment. We cannot communicate without words, and yet are words sufficient to voice everything we feel? The answer would be a no. In our daily lives we go through a myriad of emotions – some explicable and some inexplicable. And yet we try to explain what we feel by using the existing insufficient words. We know the desire means to want something, but what is the word that describes the dread we feel on getting what we want? There maybe no word for it, but that, by no means implies we don’t feel the emotion.
This incapacity to put certain emotions into words is not an isolated feeling, rather is shared by all. It was only time that someone came up with a dictionary that could help us to describe this quaint, obscure sorrows. And that person is John Koenig, who for eight long years, tried to coin new words that would describe those inexplicable sorrows. He compiled The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, with the hope of filling the gaps that exist in a language, and hoped people would finally talk about those sorrows they had avoided earlier for a lack of a word.
In his Ted Talk, Koenig recollects the time when his own melancholy triggered him to compose the dictionary, and how people later came up to him to thank him for his work.
Here are some of the words he coined