Things We Need Words For

Alexandra Molotkow is a beautiful genius in all regards, so of course she’s the person we need to point out the words the English language is still lacking:

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

I mean, it’s 2015. We should at least have a word for my personal favorite: “14. A fashion trend spawned by a joke about fashion trends.”

I made up a word a few years ago to describe a particularly unique experience and I’m going to share it with you now because I am nothing if not generous.

Terrousing, v., adj. A combined state of heightened arousal and moderate fear that is, overall, very enjoyable. Suggested uses:

“You’re terrousing me right now.”
“That thing you did last night was really…terrousing.”
“I was totally terroused by Jamie Bell in Nymphomaniac.”

This isn’t for anything that’s actually scary. Like an incorrect usage would be if you, I don’t know, thought you were having sex with a human, but then halfway through you realized they were a ghost, and you were like “Ahh!!!! I’m having sex with a ghost!!!” That’s just normal fear. You couldn’t be like, “When I realized I was having sex with a ghost I was very terroused.” Although — -hm. I mean, if you are genuinely terroused at the idea of having sex with a ghost, that’s the right usage. No judgements. I just mean that there’s a very definitive overlap between the areas of fear and arousal within sex already, because, I don’t know, isn’t a big part of arousal not knowing what the other person is going to do? And you don’t vocalize that by saying you’re scared of the other person because that would be not a good descriptor of your feelings. So here it is, my gift to you: you’re terroused. You thought that thing last night was terrousing.

There is, of course, an emoji that best describes the state of terrousal, but that’s a subject for another post.

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