“The ENNUI and the Ecstasy - Tomorrow morning, we’ll be telling strangers how much we really, really loved them. The rhythmic ringing in our ears will be the only evidence of the disappeared night,... and carried us up, up, up into an endless tunnel of sound.”

Janelle Brown - “Generation Ecstacy” Webzine

Note: this interesting entry makes a phonetic reference to the famous book and film “The Agony and the Ecstasy” by Irvine Stone

Did you


- a feeling of being bored and mentally tired caused by having nothing interesting or exciting to do

Cambridge Dictionary


“Ennui” has been in the English language since 1732. It is an English descendent of the French word “enui”, meaning an annoyance, which is where we get the English word “annoy”,... but that’s another story.

Although “boredom” is often used to define “ennui”, it doesn’t quite capture the deep feeling of total weariness and dissatisfaction that “ennui” suggests.

The poet Charles Lloyd described the feeling well in his 1823 "Stanzas to Ennui" when he referred to that world-weary sensation as a “Soul-destroying fiend” which visits with its “pale unrest / The chambers of the human breast / Where too much happiness hath fixed its home.”


The average Brit is bored for over three hours a day - adding up to more than NINE years of their life, a study has found.

Work is one of the most common sources of boredom, with 22 per cent of respondents bored for up to two hours - or 25 per cent - of their working day.

The survey of 2,000 adults in the UK was commissioned by online gaming company Casumo whose spokesman said: “Boredom can be a real problem for many people, even if they’re happy with their lives in general.

“Boredom can sap productivity, and make people feel like there’s nothing good going on in their lives."

“We were surprised to find that people are more likely to feel bored at home than they are at work, and perhaps this shows a lack of imagination on the nation’s part, that they can’t entertainingly fill their free hours.”

Being stuck in traffic emerged as the most boring thing about modern life, aggravating over half of the nation.

- Being stuck in traffic
- Looking for a parking space
- Standing in line
- Places without Wi-Fi
- Waiting for your phone to recharge
- Doing the washing-up
- Emptying the bins
- Changing a duvet cover
- Waiting for the kettle to boil
- Replacing the toilet roll on the holder
- Being on hold
- Unnecessary meetings
- Company-wide emails
- PowerPoint presentations
- Slow internet connections
- Listening to politicians
- The Kardashians
- People who Instagram their food
- People telling you about their dream
- Trailing around behind your partner in a clothes shop

Adapted from The Glasgow Times


blues, daily grind, doldrums, dumps, ENNUI, ho hums, humdrum, irksomeness, jadedness, languor, languidness, lassitude, lethargy, listlessness, melancholy, rat race, sluggishness, somnolence, taedium vitae, tedium, torpor, vapours, Weltschmerz, wistfulness, world-weariness

Mark Twain had something to say about the ENNUI of schooldays when he wrote: “My education started the day I left school”.


animation, bliss, cheer, cheerfulness, delectation, delight, ecstasy, elated, energy, entertainment, enthusiasm, equanimity, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, exuberance, exultation, fascination, gladsomeness, gratification, happiness, intoxication, joy, jubilation, rapturousness, placidity, pleasure, rapture, stimulation, vigour

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“It was ENNUI that finally convinced him to resign,… after 35 years with the same company.”

THANKS to Powla for suggesting today’s OWAD.

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:


Paul Smith

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