Also, I had a terrible grasp of irregular verbs.
July 11, 2011 4:57 AM Subscribe
I am looking for a word, and I don't think it is one in English. Articulate mefites of all stripes, step right up.
posted by ricochet biscuit to writing & language (24 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I need a word to describe a particular sort of experience. It is somewhere in the triangle delineated by "nostalgia," "hopefulness," and wabi, the Japanese term for the imperfections that make something better than if it were nominally perfect (wabi is why you pay more for a hand-stitched rug than for a perfectly manufactured machine-made one).
Recently, I found an audio cassette which I had made at an early age with my tape recorder*. There were popular songs on the radio that I enjoyed at the time, and it seemed to me then the easiest way to have ready access to them was to wait patiently for a radio station to play them, then hold the microphone of my tape recorder to the speaker and hit RECORD; hence a collection of low-res pop hits of the era, all missing their first two bars.
I recall being very determined not to clutter these recordings up with room noise, and so being very careful not to speak, as well as shushing others who walked into the room. However, listening to these thing yesterday, I found myself deriving the most enjoyment from the flubs, and looking forward to the moments when I could hear this child who I used to be talking (at one point with the tape still recording, the young biscuit mutters, "I think I rewinded it too far").
The only other time I have run across something similar is when I am watching videocassettes of something taped off television -- with my first VCR in the eighties, I did my best to remove the commercials from Star Trek:The Next Generation or whatever I taped then, but when I have occasionally watched these things since, the commercials are often the interesting bits: dubious ads for long-forgotten products, breathless commercials for absolute flops of movies, PSAs that would never get shown today, station identification for long-since-rebranded stations. Anyone who has seen the bootleg of the Star Wars Holiday Special can identify with this.
I mentioned the cassette experience to one or two people, this quietly hoping for mistakes, but I find it hard to articulate the experience save in terms of examples. Can anyone supply me with a clearer way to explain this? Coinages are welcome... I suppose Fehlerhoffnung in German might get close, but that is just off the cuff.
*Of course, to play a nearly-forty-year-old cassette, I had to use the more-than-twenty-year-old Walkman I also discovered. So it goes.