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I'm looking for a word that fits this quote from the Sun Also Rises (without context; I don't remember the context): "You'll lose it, if you talk about it"

I'm having difficulty creating an example sentence, but perhaps something like this: "Don't say this is beautiful because you will spoil it by ___"

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    I'm not sure there's a verb in existence that means that. – Benjamin Harman Sep 2 '19 at 4:17
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    I know of a saying which says: when you try to define something (like beaty/love etc.) it can only spoil it. – user067531 Sep 2 '19 at 4:45
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    Tolkien goes the whole hog with the analysis metaphor: "One who breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of reason.” [Gandalf to Saruman; LOTR] – Edwin Ashworth Sep 2 '19 at 18:36
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I would say "Don't say this is beautiful because you will spoil it by exposing it".

[Merriam-Webster]

2a : to make known : bring to light

b : to exhibit for public veneration

PS You might also look at the notion of kennings. Unfortunately, I can't find the source right now, but I read somewhere that the point of kennings (that is, referring to a certain notion using a mild metaphor) was exactly not to let its features fade away by exposing them too much; if you call gold "gold" a hundred times, it will lose its shine, so a skald will always call gold "dragon's pillow" or something like that.

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Maybe "jinx" could work -

Jinx

: a person or thing that brings bad luck.

"One was never to wish luck to someone going hunting or fishing, as it was seen as a jinx."


"Don't say this is beautiful because you will spoil it by jinxing it."

(From Oxford)

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The single word that comes closest to what you describe is define:

[Merriam-Webster]
1 a : to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of
// whatever defines us as human

The sentence in the question would turn into the following:

"Don't say this is beautiful because you will spoil it by defining it."


In other words:

If you try to put a name to something that is indescribable, you will ruin the experience of just appreciating it for what it is. Don't think about it, simply feel it.

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I'll throw in vote for despoil:

  • to strip of belongings, possessions, or value

This would mean rewording your sentence a bit, perhaps like:

"Don't say this is beautiful because you will despoil it."

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