32 Things We Need Words For in 2015

In response to Time magazine’s poll, “Which Word Should Be Banned in 2015” (which suggests we ban “feminist”), a list of the opposite.

Alexandra Molotkow’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, ...

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1. Abatement of dread when you realize you’re worried about something no one who’s not on the internet even understands

2. A game in which an insignificant but unsolvable problem is posited as a serious problem in need of solving

3. A misallocated emotion, particularly fear, anger, or sadness

4. Feeling of being in multiple worlds at once

5. The genuine part of a nicety

6. Remembering you have a body and wishing you didn’t

7. False sense of accomplishment for having had firsthand experience with an object of cultural nostalgia

8. Private feeling of dismay when it turns out everyone knows about something you thought only you knew about

9. Feeling of sexual obligation to someone you met on the Internet or a cellphone

10. Overall dissonance between one’s online and offline personae

11. The feeling of having read many words and learned nothing

12. A decent but forgettable thing that is fun to remember about (e.g., asiago)

13. A totally unremarkable place that feels remarkable to visit because you never thought you would

14. A fashion trend spawned by a joke about fashion trends

15. A sex trend spawned by fear about sex trends

16. “Phantom limb” feeling when a technology on which you feel dependent is unavailable

17. Opportunism applied to the tweet- or blogability of private interactions

18. A conversation between the selves of one person

19. Mental or intellectual intimacy at a physical remove

20. The “line” between “life” and “art”

21. A pile of shedded hair in a long-haired person’s apartment

22. The state of perceiving your own thoughts and behaviours through the eyes of someone you have feelings for or are otherwise fixated on

23. The feeling of undergoing something impossible (e.g., death, nausea)

24. The difference between “wanting” to do bad things/have bad things done to you and wanting to do bad things/have bad things done to you

25. Sexual revulsion caused by emotional intimacy

26. Sexual desire caused by revulsion

27. Actual evil as opposed to “naughty” evil

28. The feeling of needing to wash your face

29. A sassy witticism that actually makes no sense

30. A smell that is gross but pleasant to smell

31. A person it is OK to be mean to

32. A colour that means purple, but isn’t*

 

*contribution by Naomi Skwarna

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