What might be called the more modern and shall we say sympathetic names for
human feelings only begin to appear in great numbers around the middle of the
dissatisfaction, aversion and
depression made their at that
time. This vocabulary of feelings and moods grew
larger in the 18th century.
Apathy, diffidence and homesickness for example, came into being then. Older words
such as excitement and embarrassment but only came to
apply to inner feelings in
Along with these words we find a of verbs and adjectives that
described not only the qualities and activities of things but also the
produced on people's feelings. Entertain, fascinate and amuse are relatively new
words, or at least old ones given a modern meaning.
the most characteristic of
modem adjectives is the word interesting. Today it is used in so many ways
that it is to imagine a conversation being carried on without it. However
it is not actually found before the 19th century at which time its meaning was
At about the same time the verb bore appeared.
If we wish to enter into the state
of mind of those past ages we must imagine a time when people thought more in terms
of objects than of their own emotions. If they were interested or bored they did not
name their feelings but the object that produced them. The change that came,
in time, is an important one and is due to our greater sense of the inner world of