At a loss for words

A series of bizarre email troubles recently have got me thinking: Why is there not a word – at least a catchy phrase that someone has thrown against the wall – for email-induced confusion? One hardly goes a week without some incidence of screwy lag time between sending and receipt (at least, supposedly), or mistaken tone of voice, or any number of things. Am I right?


The wheels keep turning. … What other words are we missing?


For example, why don’t we have quick way to say that we’re feeling embarrassed on someone else’s behalf – the middle ground between finding it purely amusing, and being wholeheartedly empathetic? Like, when you see someone slip and fall and don’t know whether it would make them feel more comfortable if you laughed with them, or stopped to help them up, or just kept walking and pretended you didn’t notice. What are we supposed to call that?


I speak a touch of French. (Well, if I’m being honest, I listen and write a touch of French; my actual ‘speak’ is shamefully poor.) That’s neither here nor there; regardless, I am by no means a master of foreign tongues. However, I do know that such a word exists in the romantic languages. Why are Americans so behind? Perhaps we don’t generally experience such a feeling because we’re the cause of said embarrassment? I obviously digress.


I’m sure there are countless other words/phrases we’re missing and I’m quite curious. Speak up if one comes to mind!

One Response to “At a loss for words”

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