Tag Archives: word

Emotionally Positive Words Not Found in English

(this beautiful list of words are selected from the collection of Dr. Tim Lomax, whose page I discovered thanks to this isn’t happiness)


  • Gula: Spanish for the desire to eat simply for the taste
  • Sobremesa: Spanish for when the food has finished but the conversation is still flowing
  • Mbukimvuki: Bantu for “to shuck of one’s clothes in order to dance”
  • Schnapsidee: German for coming up with an ingenious plan when drunk
  • Volta: Greek for leisurely strolling the streets


  • Nakama: Japanese for friends who one considers like family
  • Kanyininpa: Aboriginal Pintupi for a relationship between holder and held, akin to the deep nurturing feelings experienced by a parent for their child
  • Gigil: Philippine Tagalog for the irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze someone because you love them so much
  • Kilig: Tagalog for the butterflies in the stomach you get when interacting with someone you find attractive
  • Sarang: Korean for when you wish to be with someone until death


  • Sitzfleisch: German for the ability to persevere through hard or boring tasks (literally “sit meat”)
  • Baraka: Arabic for a gift of spiritual energy that can be passed from one person to another
  • Jugaad: Hindi for the ability to get by or make do
  • Desenrascanco: Portuguese for the ability to artfully disentangle oneself from a troublesome situation
  • Sprezzatura: Italian for when all art and effort are concealed beneath a “studied carelessness”

New word: Monopsony


A monopoly is a consumer-side problem. In contrast, there is a less-well-known corresponding supplier-side problem …

A monopsony is a market form in which only one buyer faces many sellers. It is an example of imperfect competition, similar to a monopoly, in which only one seller faces many buyers. As the only or majority purchaser of a good or service, the “monopsonist” may dictate terms to its suppliers in the same manner that a monopolist controls the market for its buyers.

Monopsonies suck for their suppliers because the suppliers are systematically starved of profits by the middle-men running the monopsony. Which can lead to suppliers going bust, and a reduction in the diversity and quality of goods available (via the monopsony) to consumers.

whereas, Monopoly:

exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity … Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce the good or service and a lack of viable substitute goods.

Monopolies suck for their customers because they don’t have to give a shit about product quality or price: they have you, the customer, over a barrel with nowhere else to go.

(It’s kind of like inflation and deflation in economics. Inflation is bad; deflation, its opposite, is not good, it’s simply differently bad. Similarly, both monopolies and monopsonies are bad.)

And the peculiar evil genius of Amazon is that Amazon seems to be trying to simultaneously establish a wholesale monopsony and a retail monopoly in the ebook sector.

via What Amazon’s ebook strategy means – Charlie’s Diary.



It strikes me that the education market (wrt textbooks, for example) is a good example of the damage monopsony can inflict.  Because large school districts dictate prices (and, crucially, content), the textbook market is a particularly tough one for publishers.  And the evident result is a dearth of text options available to teachers, with those options tending to be similar and blandly palatable, rather than diverse and challenging.

I hope that increasing use of computers by students will help change this.  As large, bound-paper textbooks increasingly are replaced by tablets, direct publisher-to-student distribution becomes easier.  At the same time, content should become more granular, allowing a diversity of smaller content-providers to compete with large publishers on the merits of a single lesson or module, without the need to produce a comprehensive textbook.  I believe these two trends will lead to a more robust and diverse, less monopsonistic (monopsonic?) market for educational content.


New word of the day: Pronia.  Nice word for me to learn, having experienced it acutely during my manic episodes.

Wikipedia article


Pronoia affliction

According to Pronoia.net, Dr. Fred H.Goldner claims that he, writing at Queens College in October 1982, published a paper in Social Problems (V.30, N.1:82-91), in which he coined the term pronoia to describe a psychological affliction. He characterized pronoia as a mirror image of paranoia, which leads the sufferer to unrealistically believe that persons or entities (e.g. governments) conspire against them.

Pronoia is the positive counterpart of paranoia. It is the delusion that others think well of one. Actions and the products of one’s efforts are thought to be well received and praised by others. Mere acquaintances are thought to be close friends; politeness and the exchange of pleasantries are taken as expressions of deep attachment and the promise of future support. Pronoia appears rooted in the social complexity and cultural ambiguity of our lives: we have become increasingly dependent on the opinions of others based on uncertain criteria.