Five words I like for their sonic quality but dislike in actuality

by a contributor

from Rebecca Hanssens-Reed, author of Sunday, In the past we wore stiff linens and That time I was in Australia and we pretended I was a film producer:

  1. Haptodysphoria  (noun) an unpleasant sensation felt by some people in response to certain tactile sensations. When you rub velvet the wrong way. Chalk on your fingers. When you accidentally brush against gum on the underside of a table.

  2. Susurrous  (adjective) whispering, murmuring. When I was a child my parents had a friend that always liked to lean in and whisper jokes to me, often while chewing on his food, which was usually something like hummus or pesto. I can’t help but think of that whenever I say this word: that chilling feeling of someone uttering soft, disgusting sounds into your ear.

  3. Oubliette  (noun) a secret dungeon with access only through a trapdoor in its ceiling. A word that sounds like it could be something cute but is actually the creepiest thing imaginable.

  4. Prosopagnosia  (noun) an inability to recognize familiar faces, often referred to as ‘face blindness.’ I kid you not, I think I suffer from this. It can be somewhat frustrating, very awkward.

  5. Elsewhere  (adverb) in, at, or to some other place or other places. I like the sound of faraway places but the distance between any of us is most often heartbreaking.