frisson…

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…is a good word. i learned it from Hitchens’ Hitch-22 a few months ago, but despaired of ever remembering it. the word registered again once or twice when i flipped through old pages in a notebook where i’d written it down, but never with the type of familiarity that made me think i’d learned it. now, today, writing in my journal, i had need of exactly that word and out it pops, from a part of my brain that i can’t manually operate, like a piece of alien space junk gliding over the edge of a black hole’s event horizon. and, i even spelled it correctly.

that means i learned “frisson” when i’d consciously thought that i’d certainly forget it. i learned without trying, memorized as a side effect of a few 30 second cognitive exercises (write it down, look up its etymology, look at it again after a few days…).

take heart, good people of the world: when you try hard to improve it starts to happen when you aren’t even looking.

frisson
[free-sohn; French free-sawn]

1.
a sudden, passing sensation of excitement; a shudder of emotion; thrill: