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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Monday, July 20th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Cool Sites

This site is quickly becoming an obsession of mine. I’ve never been purist, staunchly standing by language as impermeable. Instead, I believe language is fluid and ever-changing. I embrace that change.

After taking a class in undergrad on the History of the English language, I’m always boggled by people who believe that language is concrete, unsusceptible  to easy change. Just look at how fast we’ve adopted technology words or changed existing language to accommodate our growing technological achievements.

So what does all that have to do with today’s site? Well, today’s site is created by John Koenig and he creates words using etymology with original definitions that aim to fill holes that language doesn’t currently fill.  I’m so hooked, I’m following on Facebook.  I’m going to direct you to the FAQ for the site, because it covers a lot of common questions and offers you links to the Facebook page.

The posts are setup blog style, so the most recent comes first and then you scroll back through previous entries. There are two kinds of entries: text and video. Both define a word, but the videos add a spoken monologue/definition and image to it.

Check out the video for Vemödalen. I like it as an example, because it takes the definition and then uses the medium it’s about (photography) to demonstrate the definition.

If you like to geek out about language or words then you definitely want to check out this site!


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