Have you ever experienced something so incomprehensible that the only words you could muster up go something like, “There are simply no words to describe?” Or: Have you ever tried to name or define an object or concept and discovered that nothing in that dictionary you carry around in your skull matches? Well, there’s a word for that: ineffability.
Derived from the Latin ineffabilis, meaning “unutterable,” fromin-“not” and effari“utter,” ineffable is defined as an “inability to describe in words” or “too sacred to be uttered.” Perhaps it’s an overwhelming feeling of love, a work of art, something online, or something we can’t even imagine. We’ve all found ourselves wrapped in voiceless bewilderment, unable to find the words to properly express that inexpressible something.
We’re secure enough to admit that even the dictionary has limits, and we’ve decided to experiment with those boundaries of ineffability. In the comments below, share a specific example where you could not find words to describe your emotion, concept, object, condition – you name it. Also, if you read someone else’s comment and think of an existing word that you feel does describe the ineffable example, share it as well. Let’s expand the power of words and help each other in the process. Dictionary.com editors will occasionally highlight examples and perhaps contribute suggestions. We can’t wait to learn from all of you.
So far your suggestions have been wonderful:
@VEllisonne on twitter writes: “When I found myself in the middle of a dangerous situation but was completely calm and alright with the whole thing.” Perhaps “imperturbation” works here.
Let’s keep this going…
Ann Hopps Morgan suggests: “Seeing the 3,500 year old tomb of Nefertari in Luxor, Egypt.”
And Kathie Wallis stumped us with: “The moment when irony and coincidence bring a truth to you out of nowhere; when you realize the world is not as you were living it. As if the dimensional plane you are standing in suddenly shifts, just a bit, leaving you disoriented and the world around you is forever changed.”
The suggestions keep rolling in and we are thrilled with what we’re reading.
Liongrrrrl offered the following scenario: “I can’t figure out how to put certain facial expressions to words, like when someone says something sarcastic to another person and that person gives them a *look*, where they blink kind of long and stare at them, maybe pursing their lips or folding their arms. I can’t figure that one out.” To which one reader suggested: moue.
Chacho is looking for a word to describe the following: “A smell that I don’t recognize; either really good, bad or just plain wierd.”
Thanks for all your comments. Keep them coming!
Negative attitudes can quickly creep into your life. Learn how to spot key words that tend to show negative attitudes. Once you know what you're saying or thinking, you can prevent them from manifesting themselves in your life.
Negative Attitude: It Can Show in a Word
You probably know someone who is very negative. You may wonder why they are so unhappy. Maybe they don’t know how to stop being that way, or maybe they appear more negative than they are. When you look at the list that follows, see if you are guilty of any of those attitudes.
Here is a list of words that describe negative attitudes:
aggression, anger, betrayal, bigotry, blame, cowardice, critical, cynical, depression, dishonesty, envy, greed, guarded, hatred, indifference, intolerance, irresponsibility, jealousy, pessimism, prejudice, pride, resentment, revenge, sadness, selfishness, skeptical, suspicious, thoughtlessness, unemotional, and untrusting.
Effects of Negativity
Now that you have a list of words that describe negative attitudes, maybe you would like to know what they do to you.
A negative attitude really does affect your quality of life. Sometimes it takes control of your life and you see everything in the worst possible way. You are not happy and the people around you are not happy, either. Let’s look at the crippling effects of negativity. For example:
- Negativity can change the way you look at everything and keep you from enjoying many things that can bring you joy.
- It keeps you from trying new things that may be wonderful.
- It can also keep you from maturing and learning how to cope with the challenges of life.
- Negativity can lead to sadness, depression, stress, and giving up on life.
- It can take away your energy and motivation. Instead of a go-getter, you become a hopeless case who cannot help themselves.
From a physical standpoint, negativity, unhappiness, and stress weakens your immune system. When this happens, you can become susceptible to many diseases, including one’s that occur because of stress, like heart disease and ulcers.
How to Stop Being So Negative
Try these action steps to recharge your attitude into being more positive:
- Make a list of the things for which you are thankful. You should do this at least once a day. It will help you focus on things to be appreciated and, with practice, you will find many things to be thankful for.
- Try to find something positive in every situation. Even a bad situation can be positive if you learned something from it. And yes, going through difficult times does build character.
- Work hard on not complaining. Try to say something positive and see the good in people and situations.
- Try to let troubles roll off of you like water off a duck’s back. Visualize your troubles just rolling off of you and focus on the positive.
- Realize than only you can change your attitude. Your attitude is no one’s fault but yours.
As you attitude changes from negative to positive, you will notice that people respond to you in a different way.
Quotes About Attitude
Many people think you can change your reality simply with thought. They say that if you think it, it can happen. Here is some food for thought about having a positive attitude.
- Those who wish to sing, always find a song. - Swedish Proverb
- If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. - Mary Engelbreit
- People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them. - Epictetus
- You must start with a positive attitude or you will surely end without one. - Carrie Latet
- Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. - Francesca Reigler
- The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind. - William James
- If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. - Wayne Dyer
You can change your life by changing your attitude.