Let me tell you a story. One day, I was waiting for my husband to come home from work so I could have a conversation with him about something important. I don't remember what the topic was, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is that while I was waiting, I was playing out every possible scenario in my head.
How would he respond? What would he say? Would he be happy? Sad? Some variation in between? Every conversation was carefully played out as I prepared for the worst. However, despite my careful planning, what actually happened turned out to be miles away from what I imagined. Now, does that story sound familiar at all? I bet it does. We are notorious for playing conversations and scenarios out before they actually happen, and, nine times out of ten, we can't even come close to the real thing. That is the essence of this week's word: Jouska. Jouska (JOW-ska) is defined as “a hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head—a crisp analysis, a cathartic dialogue, a devastating comeback—which serves as a kind of psychological batting cage where you can connect more deeply with people than in the small ball of everyday life, which is a frustratingly cautious game of change-up pitches, sacrifice bunts, and intentional walks.” or “The imaginary and often lively conversation that you carry out in your head between yourself and someone else.” Unfortunately, I was unable to discover the origin of this unique word. Not even Wikipedia could tell me where it came from, so I suppose that will have to be a mystery until more information is provided. Jouska is a noun and can be used as such when writing. Or, to make it a little more challenging, you can play off the meaning. For example:
“Jennie often exercised her mind by using the art of jouska to plan her daily meetings.” “Hannah fretted nervously by the door as she waited for him to come home. Without realizing it, she had begun planning the conversation long before he ever walked into the room.” “Leon stepped up to the microphone and took a deep breath as he stared out at the judges. “Jouska. J-O-U-S-K-A. Jouska.””
As you can see, using Jouska in a sentence can be tricky. However, we writers love a good challenge. Right? To learn more, check out The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, Broken Blue Bubbles, and The Odyssey Online. The photo is my own.