"After you read a poem just knowing you can hold it, you can be in that space of the poem. And it can hold you in its space."
~ Naomi Shihab Nye
DENARRATION The process whereby one’s life stops feeling like a story.
DESELFING Willingly diluting one’s sense of self and ego by plastering the Internet with as much information as possible. (See also Omniscience Fatigue; Undeselfing)
FRANKENTIME What time feels like when you realize that most of your life is spent working with and around a computer and the Internet.
INSTANT REINCARNATION The fact that most adults, no matter how great their life is, wish for radical change in their life. The urge to reincarnate while still alive is near universal.
INTERNAL VOICE BLINDNESS The near universal inability of people to articulate the tone and personality of the voice that forms their interior monologue.
INTERRUPTION-DRIVEN MEMORY We remember only red traffic lights, never the green ones. The green ones keep us in the flow, the red ones interrupt and annoy us.
INTRAFFINITAL MELANCHOLY VS. EXTRAFFINITAL MELANCHOLY Which is lonelier: to be single and lonely, or to be lonely within a dead relationship?
ME GOGGLES The inability to accurately perceive oneself as others do.
OMNISCIENCE FATIGUE The burnout that comes with being able to know the answer to almost anything online.
ROSENWALD’S THEOREM The belief that all the wrong people have self-esteem.
SITUATIONAL DISINHIBITION Social contrivances within which one is allowed to become disinhibited, that is, moments of culturally approved disinhibition: when speaking with fortunetellers, to dogs and other pets, to strangers and bartenders in bars, or with Ouija boards.
STANDARD DEVIATION Feeling unique is no indication of uniqueness, and yet it is the feeling of uniqueness that convinces us we have souls.
STAR SHOCK The disproportionate way that meeting celebrities feels slightly like being told a piece of life-changing news.
UNDESELFING The attempt, usually frantic and futile, to reverse the deselfing process.
ZOOSOMNIAL BLURRING The notion that animals probably don’t see much difference between dreaming and being awake.
While living in London, Étienne de Silhouette stumbled onto the black-magic secrets of Anglo-Saxon capitalism and fiscal responsibility. He returned to Paris spreading the dark gospel, no more popular on the Champs-Élysées in the mid-1700s than now. Silhouette, however, had the ear of the royal mistress, Madame de Pompadour, through whose devices he was elevated to be Contrôleur général des finances.
To pay down the crushing debt being incurred from the ongoing Seven Years’ War, Silhouette suggested what amounted to an import of the British Window Tax, although he wanted to tax doors too, and just about everything else he could think of. Silhouette also proposed slashing the pay of bureaucrats—again, never a way into the Gallic heart—and even ordered the king to melt down the royal plate.
The most amazing thing about Silhouette’s departure after nine months in the office was that he lasted so long. Parisian ridicule of the finance minister didn’t stop with his fall from grace, and anything made on the cheap was said to be done à la silhouette, including the then-popular method of producing a portrait without having to draw, in which the “artist” traced the subject’s shadow onto a piece of black paper, cut it out, and stuck it in a frame.
*1 : evenness of mind especially under stress
2 : right disposition : balance
Carol's famous equanimity didn't desert her, even in the midst of the crisis.
Did you know?
If you think "equanimity" looks like it has something to do with "equal," you've guessed correctly. Both "equanimity" and "equal" are derived from "aequus," a Latin adjective meaning "level" or "equal." "Equanimity" comes from the combination of "aequus" and "animus" ("soul" or "mind") in the Latin phrase "aequo animo," which means "with even mind."
English speakers began using "equanimity" early in the 17th century with the now obsolete sense "fairness or justness of judgment," which was in keeping with the meaning of the Latin phrase.
Equanimity quickly came to suggest keeping a cool head under any sort of pressure, not merely when presented with a problem, and eventually it developed an extended sense for general balance and harmony.
*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.
ALEATORY means pertaining to luck, and derives from the Latin word alea, the rolling of dice. Aleatoric, indeterminate, or chance art is that which exploits the principle of randomness.
APOPHASIS refers, in general, to mentioning by not mentioning.
APOPHENIA is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, who defined it as the unmotivated seeing of connections accompanied by a specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness.