Eden Sher of The Middle on Her New Book, The Emotionary

Emily Maas Aslanian
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock (5781112gi)
Eden Sher
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Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

Ever struggle to find a word that describes exactly how you’re feeling? The Middle actress Eden Sher has, so she created a dictionary-like guide called The Emotionary (out October 18) for hard-to-explain feelings. Sher says her socially awkward character, Sue, inspired a few words.

“I didn’t sit down and say, ‘I want this to be a book,’” Sher says of the five-year project she worked on with illustrator Julia Wertz. “It was more like a form of journaling and my compulsion to be productive with my emotions.” She shares her favorite words.

Eden Sher

The Emotionary

ILLOGIMOTE (illogical + emote): To feel in a way that contradicts or undermines one’s intellectual understanding of a situation. “It’s the umbrella word for the entire book,” Sher says of one of her first entries. “It’s for when your feelings don’t match your rational understanding. You know, like when you throw a temper tantrum after tripping over a water bowl.”

FEIGNDERSTAND (feign + understand): To pretend to hear someone after asking them to repeat themselves. “One of my favorite lighter words!” she says.

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EPIPHANNAISE (epiphany + mayonnaise): The moment one realizes that mayonnaise and aioli are exactly the same thing. Sher dubs this entry fun and “just silly.”

ANGERPOMORPHIZE (anger + anthropomorphize): To ascribe agency and/or ill will to inanimate objects. “I do that all the time,” Sher confesses.

PERFULSIVE (perfection + compulsive): Unable to accept a finished product. This one is particularly meta for Sher, who says, “I’m still not happy with it. It’s an adjective. It shouldn’t have been. It should have been a noun. Whatever.”

CANCELATED (cancel + elated): Relieved about a dreaded plan falling through at the last minute. “It’s a happy word,” she says.

The Middle, Tuesdays, 8/7c, ABC.