Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Cabinet of Calm by Paul Anthony Jones. Thanks so much to Alison Menzies of Elliott & Thompson for the invite and for my lovely copy. Before I share an extract here’s what the book is all about:
“Sometimes we all need a little reminder that it’s going to be okay… Open The Cabinet of Calm to discover a comforting word that’s equal to your troubles.
The Cabinet of Calm has been designed to be picked up whenever you need a moment of serenity. Just select the emotion listed that reflects whatever you’re feeling and you’ll be offered a matching linguistic remedy: fifty-one soothing words for troubled times.
From ‘melorism’ to ‘stound’, ‘carpe noctem’ to ‘opsimathy’, these kind words – alongside their definitions and their stories – will bring peace, comfort and delight, and provide fresh hope.
Written with a lightness of touch, The Cabinet of Calm shows us that we’re not alone. Like language, our emotions are universal: someone else has felt like this before and so there’s a word to help, whatever the challenge.
So much more than a book of words, The Cabinet of Calm will soothe your soul and ease your mind. It’s the perfect gift.“
Available from: Hive – Waterstones – Amazon
The closest we have to a linguistic cure-all is a dolorifuge.
Dolor was a Latin word for pain or grief, and etymologically it lies at the root of a number of words in the dictionary relating to sadness or mental anguish. Most familiar of these is likely dolorous and dolorousness, which emerged in English in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries respectively. Their root form, dolour, a word meaning ‘sorrow’ or ‘suffering’, is nowadays relatively rare, as are a number of other less familiar words in this downhearted group, including dolorimeter (a device for measuring a person’s sensitivity to pain), doloroso (a musical term directing a performer to play in a plaintive, mournful fashion) and dolorifuge, which combines that same Latin root, dolor, with the verb fugere, meaning ‘to flee’ (the same root as fugitive, and refuge).
A dolorifuge is anything that works to expel or rid you of sadness, anguish or pain. Quite what form that takes depends on you and the particular upsetting circumstances in which you find yourself. Sadness triggered by missing home and familiar faces, for instance, might be mended by little more than a reassuring phone call, or a glance at a much loved photograph. Sadness caused by grief, or heartache, might need a more robust approach, and the support of a circle of friends and family. Even in the most desperate of circumstances it might just be possible to imagine an appropriate and curative dolorifuge.
About The Author
Paul has a Masters in Linguistics and is a language blogger from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. His obsession with words began with a child’s dictionary he received as a Christmas present when he was eight years old. As @HaggardHawks he has tweeted obscure words since 2013 and now has a social media following of over 75k, including the likes of JK Rowling, Robert Macfarlane, Susie Dent, Richard Osman, Greg Jenner, Ian McMillan, Rufus Sewell, Simon Mayo, Michael Rosen and Cerys Matthews.
HaggardHawks.com brings together the entire HH network including a blog, books, quizzes & games, the 500 Words YouTube series, Instagram gallery and newsletter. He regularly contributes to the media.
He has written seven books, most recently Around the World in 80 Words: A Journey Through the English Language (hardback 2018); The Accidental Dictionary: The Remarkable Twists and Turns of English Words; The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities: A Yearbook of Forgotten Words and Word Drops: A Sprinkling of Linguistic.