Emotive words to add to your lexicon

A list of words that explain the things we feel, but can't explain

• Sonder - The realisation that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.
• Apia - The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
• Monachopsis - The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
• Rubatosis - The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.
• Chrysalis - The amniotic tranquillity of being indoors during a thunderstorm.
• Nodus Pollens - The realisation that the plot of your life doesn't make sense to you any more.
• Liberosis - The desire to care less about things.
• Exulansis - The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.
• Occhiolism - The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.
• Altschmerz - Weariness with the same old issues you've always had.

Teacher twigged that trick

A reader writes: "Our chemistry teacher; a Mr Branch, who was nicknamed Mr Twig administered punishment with a thick rubber tube and man, did that hurt! If we were quick enough we would stuff an exercise book inside the back of our pants to soften the blows, but if old Twig heard that different sound he would give you a repeat dose!"

Love hurts sometimes

"Years ago, as a current affairs trainee with Radio NZ, I interviewed the headmaster of a leading Wellington boys' school as part of a programme about corporal punishment," writes Jim Thomson. "He proudly showed me, displayed on his office wall, a collection of canes of various sizes, from which the canee was entitled to select. He also recorded on tape his view that: "Caning, when administered with love, benefits both the master and the boy." Unfortunately I had naively agreed before the interview that he could censor his recorded statements. Despite the urgings of my Checkpoint colleagues I decided that I had no choice but to delete, at his request, this somewhat revealing statement."

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From the frying pan into the fire extinguisher

Doug Hannan, of New Plymouth, writes: "On my first day as a third former (or "turd" as we were called) at New Plymouth Boys High, I along with every other new entrant was caned as a lesson on our new status, in case we had arrived from intermediate school with any lingering self-esteem. On another occasion an offender had the option of a caning or a squirt on the bare bum from a fire extinguisher. Suffice it to say the latter option was never chosen by anyone ever again."

Good read:

"Ed Houben is now, at the age of 46, one of the preeminent makers of babies on the planet, father to 106 children of whom two-thirds were made the natural way and a third made via artificial insemination. In addition, there are 30 or so he estimates from his years at the clinic. Put another way: Ed Houben, who once had sex once every decade,

s."

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Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz