"The vague, speechless awe one experiences upon gazing up into the cosmos and contemplating the pathetic minuteness of one's being. This word was coined by Charles Harrington Elster. (New York Times Magazine, August 29, 1999, page 18.)" per ArtLex Art Dictionary
I feel like Scroooge, but I will not be joining the chorus of admiration for this "word". It strikes me as being clunky, virtually unpronounceable and simperingly cute. A word that would doubtless make James Lipton gush.
Sorry. My grumpiness is at least partly a reaction to learning that Robert James Waller has unleashed yet another "book" on an unsuspecting public, featuring the spawn of Robert Kincaid.
Not terribly surprising, I suppose. But deeply depressing. I'll quit my insomniac ranting now.
sionnach, I can't get totally behind the word either; so, you're not alone. I love the meaning of the word and I love the word cosmonaut, but non-plussed is on my Rubbies list. Not even sure why; I've just never liked that word.