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 merriam-webster.com 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.