Square Peg: When Words for Loneliness Don’t Fit

Square Peg:
When Words for Loneliness Don’t Fit

Show Notes

Late one night when he couldn’t sleep, John Koenig wrote up a definition that hadn’t existed before. It was the word “Sonder.”

It’s the awareness that everyone around you is the main character of their own story, and he posted this word on his website of the book that he hoped to write one day. That book became The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. 

The word Sonder became the most famous entry in the dictionary and Koenig still gets emails from readers thanking him for giving voice to something they’ve felt their whole life. 

It surprised him how universal a feeling that came from inside him could be…a feeling that he only felt in glimmers of solitude. 

How do we give a name to something internal, an emotion? What’s in a name that everyone can recognize but all of us know it in different ways? 

Is there a better name than just calling it “loneliness?”

Major Sources Cited In This Episode:
Aditi Mali Interview Nov 17, 2021
John Koenig Interview Nov 22, 2021
Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Host and Writer: Peg Fong
Director: Callie O’Reilly
Theme music: Ian Lefeuvre and Ari Posner
Engineer: Geoff Devine
Series Producers: Debbie O’Reilly, Guillermo Serrano and Allison Pinches
Executive Producer: Terry O’Reilly

This show is brought to you by the Apostrophe Podcast Network and powered by Acast.

Show Notes

Late one night when he couldn’t sleep, John Koenig wrote up a definition that hadn’t existed before. It was the word “Sonder.”

It’s the awareness that everyone around you is the main character of their own story, and he posted this word on his website of the book that he hoped to write one day. That book became The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. 

The word Sonder became the most famous entry in the dictionary and Koenig still gets emails from readers thanking him for giving voice to something they’ve felt their whole life. 

It surprised him how universal a feeling that came from inside him could be…a feeling that he only felt in glimmers of solitude. 

How do we give a name to something internal, an emotion? What’s in a name that everyone can recognize but all of us know it in different ways? 

Is there a better name than just calling it “loneliness?”

Major Sources Cited In This Episode:
Aditi Mali Interview Nov 17, 2021
John Koenig Interview Nov 22, 2021
Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Host and Writer: Peg Fong
Director: Callie O’Reilly
Theme music: Ian Lefeuvre and Ari Posner
Engineer: Geoff Devine
Series Producers: Debbie O’Reilly, Guillermo Serrano and Allison Pinches
Executive Producer: Terry O’Reilly

This show is brought to you by the Apostrophe Podcast Network and powered by Acast.

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