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A feature of modern society that suddenly strikes you as absurd and grotesque—from zoos and milk-drinking to organ transplants, life insurance, and fiction—part of the faint background noise of absurdity that reverberates from the moment our ancestors first crawled out of the slime but could not for the life of them remember what they got up to do.

Coined 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 MIKE CHAI

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