New Word #14: Is There A Word For This?

I encountered the word “Tsundoku” in heterodoxbuddhism’s post here. Tsundoku is a Japanese term that means one who buys books but don’t read them. And this inspires me to think of other words that should have existed but for one reason or another don’t exist in English.

  • Conversationer. This is not a word, but I think it should exist. It means one of the people involved in a conversation. There’s a word called interlocutor that takes on this task, but interlocutor sounds quite awkward. I’ve never seen it in any books I read. I am an average reader and I think I should have read it if interlocutor is a commonly used word.
  • We all know the existence of people who live their lives in delusions despite all evidence to the contrary. I googled and the word “delusionist” really exists in and other online dictionaries. However the opposite of the delusionist, which is more interesting, doesn’t exist. This is a person so disillusioned by the social ills around him that he, without thinking everything through, recklessly adopts ideas that are in reverse of the prevailing doctrines. However after a while, he becomes unhappy in both worlds and suffers an existential crisis.

  • A word you can never remember no matter how many times you look it up. I have a big list of such words that are elusive and non-retentive to my mind–billow, bellow, scatology, syncopate, sycophant etc.
  • People who become friends despite age, gender, race, and social economic differences. I am talking about good friends who have a lot to talk with each other, not just social acquaintance. We all know this is not an easy task. Our differences can break us up so easily. My experiences tell me that whenever one deals with somebody different, one wants to explain everything very carefully to make sure there’s no misunderstandings–often one incurs the accusation of being too careful and too neurotic and too fastidious. And that’s OK. I’d rather err on the side of caution than on the side of misunderstanding.
  • A seemingly harmless event, which can throw off all your plans. Usually it is a matter of heart. Love often happens in the most inopportune moment. Timing is never the strong point of the heart.
  • Husband and wife who don’t speak with each other for years. I have a relative like that. They can’t afford to divorce, but they don’t speak to each other for decades. One of my friend’s parents don’t speak with each other–they pass notes to each other or use my friend as a messenger.

  • A man who’s ex-girlfriend and current wife look alike. I actually know at least two guys like that in my life. However I’ve never met any woman whose ex look like her current companion.
  • An extended family tries to wipe out the memory of somebody who runs away or does something against the family’s beliefs or wishes.
  • Lovers, who can’t get consent from at least one of the families, decide to commit suicide. Alternatively one dies and the other becomes a monk. This happens not so infrequently in various countries in books and in real life, in royal families and in the families of common people.

31 thoughts on “New Word #14: Is There A Word For This?

  1. I would be very interested if they ever came up with words for those. I am currently learning German and they have a word for everything including most of the things you mentioned above.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love conversationer. Much better than interlocutor. I have seen that but it is more in the sense of a go-between. I definitely think conversationer should be a word.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting, i would like to know if there exists a word to describe a person, who wishes to spend money as cash instead of digital payment. I know cash will cease to exist in digital era. Just like placebo effect for illness, this thinking makes people aware of their spendings and spend less. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Interesting.

    The word “contrarian” is almost right as the opposite of “delusionist” – but not quite, because it doesn’t usually involve the existential crisis that you describe. Contrarians often just like to be different and are not necessarily reacting to social ills. I suppose it might be true to say that all the people you describe are contrarians, but only a fraction of contrarians are like the people you describe – if that makes sense!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is right. I totally agree. Contrarian is a person who is disillusioned. LOL. It makes perfect sense. The person who is disillusioned by his own upbringing is very easy to get into the situation like this.


  5. I absolutely love how languages create words like this! One that resonates with me is “hiraeth” which is Welsh for longing for a country that once was, or is no more

    Liked by 2 people

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