kenopsia and other obscure sorrows

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 word for.”

For example, kenopsia is “the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs.”

Apparently there are or were plans for a book version from Simon & Schuster, though the announcement of that came out a couple years ago and the book doesn’t seem to be published yet. And there’s a Facebook page.

There’s also a YouTube channel, where Koenig publishes a video for each word. For example, I very much like this 3-minute video from 2017 about the phrase moment of tangency:

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