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Fear that learning the name of something—a bird, a constellation, an attractive stranger—will somehow ruin it, transforming a lucky discovery into a conceptual husk pinned in a glass case, which leaves one less mystery to flutter around your head, trying to get in.

Coined in 2012 by John Koenig in The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a project, to create a compendium of invented words for every emotion we might all experience but don’t yet have a word for.

GREG RAKOZY YUTING GAO

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