Word Porn

One of my favorite words that I’ve learned in the past year is “scripturient.” It means having a “consuming passion to write,” and I thought it summed up my experience during NaNoWriMo really well. Some days, all I’d do was write. I was on autopilot for everything else but writing, and I was in love with that feeling.

However, scripturient is not a word that shows up in our dictionary at all, and in fact it comes from a different language altogether.

There are dozens, probably hundreds of words like this, words that describe something that the English language doesn’t have a word for. Beauty that isn’t skin deep (kalon), or the place where you feel your most authentic self (querencia), for extra example. Of course, it’s commonly seen from a Facebook page called “Word Porn,” which is aptly named, and generally all around the internet.

Though, lately I’ve wondered about the use of them. I believe I’ve seen someone use metanoia recently, the journey of someone changing their mind or heart, but do the words belong in novels and short stories and texts where people would have to dig through and find the word somewhere? Is it more trouble than its worth with confusion, or is the payoff of it looking foreign and giving it a bit of a different, appealing appearance more than enough?

I still find myself hesitant. I hang on to scripturient because I know it describes me best, but using outward words like that seems like a bit of a stretch. Just enjoying them is enough, and maybe that was the goal all along. To enjoy the words of the world.

The Novice Wordsmith

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