Malaise as if it were a Localised Miasma
It's a beautiful word. It is a condition, a frame of mind, a concept--malaise is an attractive word. And though it may not incite emotion in the same way that "moist" would, it still manages to light my intellectual fire every time I imagine it. Malaise.
What does one think of when he hears malaise? It’s not a particularly powerful word. And even though it’s beautiful, it’s honestly not very compelling. I guess what it is, is fascinating. It’s a fascinating word. Malaise is not an everyday word, and neither is the concept. You don’t go throwing around “dude” and “what-up” and “we as a nation are trapped in a malaise.” That’s a non-sequitur at best.
But what malaise does best is convey its meaning: a general, unknown feeling of discomfort. And it’s a great fit. The average Joe, Chad, or Jane doesn’t know what malaise means, but it sure sounds malevolent. And unknowns are intimidating, so even if one doesn’t know what malaise even means, he can very well nearly feel its meaning.
Malaise has excellent longevity. It has been in the vernacular, although within a dusty section, for centuries. And regardless, malaise is dignified. Despite being a word in an area of literary miasma, that is to say, it is a flagship word in the world of gentleman's vocabulary.
The word, after all, is malaise: a feeling of intense, usually un-place-able discomfort. But it itself can be placed as a prime word destined for prime positions in writings.