In search of an English word/phrase that describes the feeling when one feels stress from knowing important information that others do not

A friend describes this feeling when reading his fictional tales. Key characters interact in a way that would be completely different if they knew something(s), but the only person who knows that information is not part of the story and is in fact the reader, who is omnipresent. The best phrase I can come to … Read more

That persistent feeling / memory that stays with one after a profound dream?

I feel rather bad asking this here, as I am fairly certain there is no extant word in the English language to describe this; however, since we borrow words freely from other languages, may I inquire as to possible choices? I have looked on these sorts of lists but have not found anything as specific … Read more

Why does “I was happy to do my homework” work, but “I was tired to do my homework” doesn’t?

I’m teaching ESL, and I came across a question from one of my students that I don’t know how to answer. Using the form “{subject} {verb} {adjective} {infinitive phrase}” we’ve been going over sentences such as “I was happy to help you.” (More specifically, “I helped you. I was happy. -> I was happy to … Read more

Word for a persistent fear of something actually leading to it being true

I vaguely recall there being a term for this in psychology. You fear of something becoming true, and you persistently are afraid … and this very activity of feeling somehow causes that something to become true. What’s the word for it? Example, Sally was afraid she might fail her exam. She studied well. But her … Read more

Happy is to Smile as Sad is to…?

As the title asks, what is the best name for the expression made with the mouth when sad? To expand, frowning involves furrowing the brow, crying involves… crying. You can look sullen, you can pout or wince but these all convey specific emotions relating to the broader emotion of sadness. Smiling on the other hand … Read more

Is there a word for a solemn type of happiness, contentedness, or joy?

Consider someone who feels that the world is full of suffering, and they themselves have suffered much, but nonetheless they see the beauty in the world and derive happiness from that beauty. Is there a word to describe that emotion? Answer Another good word here is serene. Content or composed; untroubled: "She remained serene in … Read more

The usage of “dead eyes”and “the eyes of death”

I am thinking about the difference between the usage of “dead eyes” and “the eyes of death”. Can someone enlighten me. Answer The usage of the eyes of death is a metaphor for death itself. (To be precise it’s a synecdoche, in which the part stands in for the whole.) Consider Northumberland’s declaration from Shakespeare’s … Read more