Wyse, Pascal

Review: “Wyse Words: A Dictionary for the Bewildered” by Pascal Wyse [2009]

This funny little book is a collection of words that should exist, but don’t, that was featured (as it tells me so in the blurb) in a regular column in the Guardian a few years ago. Most are clever wordplay but others made no sense as to how Wyse came up with that word! I picked some bookish-related words:

Libobia (noun) – Fear of running out of things to read on holiday, resulting in the purchase of large quantities of JETBLAG at the airport.

We’ve all experienced that!

Jetblag (noun) – A brainy, aspirational magazine that you only ever buy in an airport bookshop. You have always fancied reading it and this flight offers an excellent opportunity to catch up on the latest gossip in quantum philosophy circles. At 30,000 ft, the extent of your delusion becomes clear and you borrow a copy of Hello.

Librido (noun) – Specific form of sublimated sexual tension found only in libraries.

I’m not sure I’ve experienced that yet or have I been missing out?! Anyone care to enlighten us? 😉

Novulating (verb) – Obsessively clicking on to Amazon to see how well your book is doing in the sales ranking.

Yes, once I’ve actually written and published my book…

Tolkeen (verb) – To find yourself compelled to hunt for books you already own when browsing in a bookshop.

OR obsessively checking the price of the same book in order to 1) feel smug if the price has inched up, 2) to feel ripped off if it has gone down and 3) check whether it has a better cover design than the one you already have.

Finally, I don’t think any of us have this problem:

Witrat (noun) – The annoyance felt at yourself for pretending to have read a novel, because the person you are trying to impress now seems to want a conversation about its literary merits.

An excellent little book to pick up and put down. It made me do a feel funny, unexpected laughs while reading this lounging around in the park.