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Staring at a word for so long that it becomes weird and then start question its existence...

 
 
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 09:07 am
Or saying something many times and it goes so weird I don't even recognise it anymore...

does it happen to you guys too?
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 12:10 pm
@michelleyy,
Do that with your name. See how wierd that is.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 12:34 pm
@michelleyy,
Yes, that used to happen to me. It hasn't happened in a while though. It was more common when I was a teenager.

That happened to me with the word "City" once. For some reason I had fixated on it so deeply that I began to wonder if I was spelling it right. I couldn't connect the concept of "city" to the four letters that make up "city".

I think that early on in the learning process for reading, the human mind learns to "visualize" words instead of actively translating the letters into words and the words into concepts. If you fixate on a word too long I think it shortcuts the brain back into trying to actually "read" the word again instead of just linking it visually to a concept. That's when it becomes unrecognizable because we haven't seen the word in its "un visualized" form since we were kids and first learned to read.

That's just my guess at what causes it.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 12:57 pm
@rosborne979,
Maybe. Anyhow, it doesn't take too many repeatitions of a word before it just sounds silly.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 01:20 pm
@roger,
The human brain is an amazing contraption Smile
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 01:51 pm
@rosborne979,
When you spell a word you remember it being written down, that's fine for most of us, the things we read tend to be spelled correctly. Teachers can have real problems though, because they spend so much time reading stuff filled with spelling mistakes, it screws the whole process up.
0 Replies
 
RexDraconis111
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 03:26 pm
@michelleyy,
Working in the copy dept. of a print-shop, I end up seeing the word "Sample" so many times that I start to think it's a really strange freaking word.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 03:42 pm
@michelleyy,
1. (Wittgenstein) "meaning is use".....hence non-contextual "misuse" would tend to give nonsense.

2. Phonemes (sound segments) differ in nothing but "otherness". (Roman Jakobson)
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 04:04 pm
This phenomenon first happened to me in elementary school, with, I think, something I was reading, though it could have been an assigned essay, in 4th or 5th grade. The word was black, I think describing a car. Memory is so odd, eh? This was long ago. The more I looked at it, the more it looked wrong. I'm sure I looked it up in a dictionary, a big deal for me back then, and it looked wrong there too.

Gee, even the word 'wrong' looks wrong...

This doesn't happen to me much anymore, since I'm concentrating by now on a lot of other things about the written word, but, as just now with the word 'wrong', I can do it again easily.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 04:38 pm
@michelleyy,
Certainly it happens to me.
0 Replies
 
MrsVISHOUS2012
 
  3  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 05:13 pm
@michelleyy,
Sure does Smile I'm dyslexic but didn't find that out until high school when i went to do test since all my teachers thought i was stupid and would be dropping out soon they didn't really bother lol but i was pissed that i could say all these amazing words in my head(yes i knew the meanings hehehe)but on paper i would stare at it knowing the damn word was spelled wrong, its even more frustrating when i pictured the word spelled in my head but when i write, it comes out differently hahahahha ohh the word feminine i can't say without sounding...'special' ummm the word familiarity i say it perfect in my head but out i say fooorrr-meeellly-Aaarrriiiittteeee lmao and yip, i break it down that slow. Done that in a job interview because first time i said it fast and it came out wrong...i couldn't move on from it until i said the damn word right hahahahaha i didn't get the job hehehehe Wink
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 09:55 pm
Wonderful examples of decoupling the word from its referent--either by means of dyslexia or repetition. I'm thinking of General Semantic's insistence that "the map [words] is not the territory [experienced reality of referents]"?
Once in the early 60's when I was passionately into zen meditation I suddently one day while driving saw everything as empty or naked of meaning, and I simultaneously saw all words as no more than words, pointing to nothing but themselves and other words. Believe me, it was wierd. Hoping I was experiencing some kind of "satori" (or zen enlightenment) I ran to the master for clarification. As I would expect now, he dismissed my implicit claim to enlightenment, saying I needed to not push myself so hard, that I was suffering from ______--I don't remember.
But I did benefit (I guess) from the immediate demonstration of the artificiality of language and the essential meaninglessness (if we assume "meaning" to be only linguistic) of experienced phenomena.
Years earilier I realized the falsity of metaphors. I was struck by the metaphorical character of the word "skyscaper". Knowing that very tall buildings did not actually scrape the sky, the metaphor "skyscaper" lost its previous taken-f0r-granted punch. Later, I concluded that, like the logical positivists and their search for meaninglessness, I had disempowered myself, rather than the litery power of language.
0 Replies
 
Procrustes
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 10:26 pm
@michelleyy,
It happens to me when I'm in converstation. I'd be so focused on a train of thought then I suddenly lose all awareness of what we were talking about. Not quite the same phenomena of repeating a word over and over but it does have the same effect of weirdness that follows. Although, this type of thing doesn't happen very often for me. Once in a blue moon event I would say...
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Feb, 2012 11:48 pm
...the same exercise would be more fun if one does it with concepts and not just the sound of words...although of course experimenting with the sound of words is pretty cool also...When I was younger I was intrigued on how my language would sound for a foreigner so I did it out of trying to get the hidden strangeness in my everyday words usage... Very Happy
0 Replies
 
demonhunter
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 Feb, 2012 02:14 pm
@michelleyy,
I've been staring at this question so long I don't even know what you are talking about.
0 Replies
 
Veida1
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2020 08:19 pm
@michelleyy,
When I tried to translate the word 'Pink' into other languages, it was freaking me out so much, I thought I was spelling it wrong, I just wanted to find a great hero name T-T
0 Replies
 
 

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