You know those words that your tongue sort of rolls and your brain sort of sinks into and they’re terribly close to being used in dreadful poetry but they still sort of fizz through you anyway? Like, say, the ones in the title of this post? Those cool words that people make lists out of just to say they’re cool, or fitting, or… cool? I’ve made up a few more of those, for my own amusement.
(Inspired in part by all those fantastic German words with a million letters that mean something incredibly specific. I love those.)
Incipitography: being initially unfamiliar with a fictional world but knowing in your bones that you’re going to know your way around it better than you know parts of your own city
This has happened to me most recently when playing Stardew Valley. I spent the first however many game days getting very lost bumbling around trees and walking into the edge of the map accidentally but NOW, now I could lead guided tours of that town.
Memnolfact: the kind of sharp-edged crystal memory invoked unexpectedly by an associated smell.
This happens to me a lot with the smell of fresh paint (late November evenings when we’d just moved house; I was 10; everything was still in boxes and our house didn’t yet feel like home).
Legitimilitude: the elliptical disconnect that happens when you finish a book you’ve been absorbed in and you look up and the world around you feels unreal, like something monumental must have changed around you because you don’t feel like the same person you did before you read those words
When I read Song of Achilles for the first time, I was reading it on the tube and arrived at my stop with about ten pages to go and so I just read it all the way up the road to work and finished it outside my office building in a haze of agonized calm. It was beautiful. Going to work seemed especially cruel that morning.
Uncantary: the jolting surprise of hearing a song in public that you’ve previously only ever heard in your own home; hearing a song outside that you half-thought only you wanted to play.
I realise this is also very Yah, Well, I Knew It Before It Was Cool but unfortunately we all have those moments. The last song this happened to me with was Hey Now by London Grammar. I usually listen to this when I’m working on one of my historical WIPs and so it was more than a bit jarring (but cool!) when it started playing in McDonalds.
Awedrance: the specific loss of words that occurs when you’re trying to explain something you really love to someone and all that love and awe and meaning chokes you up and you can’t express a thing
“Okay, M, why should I read [insert book here]?” “Because it’s SO GREAT?! And.. it’s… *hands* *face* *whale sounds* you know?” “……. Never mind.”