Words that don't exist in English. My favorites:

1.  Age-otori (Japanese): To look worse after a haircut

2.  Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn’t want to have them do and tried to avoid having them do, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favor, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude

3.  L’esprit de l’escalier (French): usually translated as “staircase wit,” is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it

4.  Meraki (pronounced may-rah-kee; Greek): Doing something with soul, creativity, or love. It’s when you put something of yourself into what you’re doing

5.  Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of being alone in the woods


Alain de Botton on self-help books, and why he has edited a new series of them:

 There's no more ridiculed genre in the literary canon – and you can see why. Most self-help books are written by Americans of the most sentimental and unctuous sort. They promise their readers eternal life, untold riches and an escape from every grubby aspect of being human, all within 300 pages of upbeat, relentlessly repetitive and patronising prose. No wonder the unstated assumption of the cultural elite is that really only stupid people read them.
photo from The School of Life


 Painter Agnes Martin, photographed in 1966 by Diane Arbus:

via Rachel Comey's tumblr


1 comment:

  1. L’esprit de l’escalier is the story of my life. Those zingers always come loud and clear well after the fact.