Obscure Sorrows

It just amazes me how I continually come across new and innovative web-sites. Photo sites, music sites, and so many well-written text-based sites. I can assure myself a steady supply of excellent sites by hanging out at virtual places frequented by people smarter and more gifted than I am. I’m challenged sometimes, but it helps keep me away from the infinite number of crappy and mediocre web-sites out there.

I can’t even remember what convoluted path of link-stepping brought me to this site, which is composed of a sequence of definitions of imaginary words:

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

The words defined aren’t intended as usage suggestions. They serve as a scaffold for ruminative short essays. Here are a few examples:


n. the imaginary committee of elders that keeps a running log of your mistakes, steadily building their case that you’re secretly a fraud, a coward, a doofus and a douche, and who would’ve successfully revoked your good fortune years ago had they not been hampered by bitter squabblings over grammar and spelling.


acronym [“when you think about it”] a feature of modern society that suddenly strikes you as absurd and grotesque—from zoos and milk-drinking to organ transplants, life insurance and fiction—part of the faint background noise of absurdity that reverberates from the moment our ancestors first crawled out of the slime but could not for the life of them remember what they got up to do.


n. fear that your connections with people are ultimately shallow, that although your relationships feel congenial at the time, an audit of your life would produce an emotional safety deposit box of low-interest holdings and uninvested windfall profits, which will indicate you were never really at risk of joy, sacrifice or loss.


n. the feeling that everything has already been done, that the experiment of human culture long ago filled its petri dish and now just feeds on itself, endlessly crossbreeding old clichés into a radioactive ooze of sadness.

Visit the site linked above; I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to read well-written and evocative short prose pieces. There is a mixture of humor and melancholy in the definitions which suits my mood these days. I bookmarked the site!




Filed under Words and Phrases

2 responses to “Obscure Sorrows

  1. Joan

    I made up my own.


    The tendency to get fascinated ones own words, resulting in a melange of overwritten redundant and multi metaphorical prose .

    In short… I liked the idea of this, but the definitions were too all encompassing and ultimately exhausting to read, and I tended to get caught up intrying to figure out the ‘why’ of the initial made up word. As for the rest.. . As Twain would say. “ Eschew surplusage!

    Now, bear in mind that my mood affects my love of whatever I am reading I may come back to these in better spirits and love them all…but for now. I’m too knackered.

    I did like ‘ backmasking’

    n. the instinctive tendency to see someone as you knew them in their youth, a burned-in image of grass-stained knees, graffitied backpacks or handfuls of birthday cake superimposed on an adult with a degree, an illusion formed when someone opens the door to your emotional darkroom while the memory is still developing.

    I related to backmasking. If, indeed I understood it correctly, it is done by parents who never see the grown up child. It is done by old lovers, who see their significant other as he/she was in younger days. It is done, of course by friends. All in all a good thing if you don’t flashback to the time the subject stole your boyfriend or make fun of you at school.

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