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Sudden moment a word makes no sense?

Jimmy Higgins

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Every once in a while, my brain goes into overdrive with a word. Such as just now, when I used the word thread pertaining to a 'thread' on this board. And the meaning of that almost seemed like a foreign language as if I've never used the word like that before, but knowing full well I have. On occasion the pronunciation of a word also becomes odd or bizarre, and not because of anything particular with the BS rules of the English language, but rather, it just seems odd, like I've never said the word before.

Anyone else run into this on occasion?
 

prideandfall

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Anyone else run into this on occasion?
literally everyone ever, heh.

have you never heard of this before? it's referenced all the time in TV and movies, it's as common of a cultural artifact as... well, anything i can think of. it's strange how sometimes folks just don't catch something that to others seems very common, human relative experience is so fascinating.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_satiation
 

Keith&Co.

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Anyone else run into this on occasion?
literally everyone ever, heh.

have you never heard of this before? it's referenced all the time in TV and movies,

To be fair, it's always seemed to me to be presented on TV as a consequence of drug use.
"Tartlettes. Tartlettes. Tartlettes. The ssord has lost all meaning."
I know it's not onlh a drug-addled thing, but yhat seems to be a trope.

One timd i used the phrase, "to be fair," and then spent ten minutes explaining i wasn't going to charge a fare for my explanation. They stared at me.
 

blastula

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To be fair, did this happen after repeating the word a bunch of times?
 

Emily Lake

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Every once in a while, my brain goes into overdrive with a word. Such as just now, when I used the word thread pertaining to a 'thread' on this board. And the meaning of that almost seemed like a foreign language as if I've never used the word like that before, but knowing full well I have. On occasion the pronunciation of a word also becomes odd or bizarre, and not because of anything particular with the BS rules of the English language, but rather, it just seems odd, like I've never said the word before.

Anyone else run into this on occasion?

Yup.

For fun, pick any word and repeat it over and over again. It will begin to sound strange and meaningless after a bit. :)
 

Emily Lake

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Anyone else run into this on occasion?
literally everyone ever, heh.

have you never heard of this before? it's referenced all the time in TV and movies, it's as common of a cultural artifact as... well, anything i can think of. it's strange how sometimes folks just don't catch something that to others seems very common, human relative experience is so fascinating.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_satiation

Oh cool - I didn't know there was a term for it!
 

Angry Floof

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Every once in a while, my brain goes into overdrive with a word. Such as just now, when I used the word thread pertaining to a 'thread' on this board. And the meaning of that almost seemed like a foreign language as if I've never used the word like that before, but knowing full well I have. On occasion the pronunciation of a word also becomes odd or bizarre, and not because of anything particular with the BS rules of the English language, but rather, it just seems odd, like I've never said the word before.

Anyone else run into this on occasion?

Yes! And it's a really fascinating peek into how our brains imbue words with meaning and the "undoing" of that imbuement of meaning is what you experienced. You can experience this on purpose by repeating a word over and over. It will eventually start to sound alien.

Obviously, we can't observe our brains imbuing meaning into words as that is not a conscious process, even as adults learning a new language, but by making a word sound alien, you sort of undo that process and kind of see it in reverse. :)

Edit: Yes ^ Semantic satiation as Emily posted.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Every once in a while, my brain goes into overdrive with a word. Such as just now, when I used the word thread pertaining to a 'thread' on this board. And the meaning of that almost seemed like a foreign language as if I've never used the word like that before, but knowing full well I have. On occasion the pronunciation of a word also becomes odd or bizarre, and not because of anything particular with the BS rules of the English language, but rather, it just seems odd, like I've never said the word before.

Anyone else run into this on occasion?

Diagnosis: You are human.
 

bilby

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Every once in a while, my brain goes into overdrive with a word. Such as just now, when I used the word thread pertaining to a 'thread' on this board. And the meaning of that almost seemed like a foreign language as if I've never used the word like that before, but knowing full well I have. On occasion the pronunciation of a word also becomes odd or bizarre, and not because of anything particular with the BS rules of the English language, but rather, it just seems odd, like I've never said the word before.

Anyone else run into this on occasion?

Diagnosis: You are human.

Too early to say.

IMG_5785.JPG
 

Loren Pechtel

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Every once in a while, my brain goes into overdrive with a word. Such as just now, when I used the word thread pertaining to a 'thread' on this board. And the meaning of that almost seemed like a foreign language as if I've never used the word like that before, but knowing full well I have. On occasion the pronunciation of a word also becomes odd or bizarre, and not because of anything particular with the BS rules of the English language, but rather, it just seems odd, like I've never said the word before.

Anyone else run into this on occasion?

Diagnosis: You are human.

Too early to say.

View attachment 32429

Yeah, an AI would have a hard time with that one.
 

Artemus

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If it makes you feel any better, yesterday morning during the bike ride I couldn't remember the first line that Kirk/Picard said in the opening of their respective versions of Star Trek. All I could remember is that in the early 90s I would overspeak it with "Spanning the globe to bring you the contant variety of Trek" to annoy a friend who watched every damn version there was at the time. I was fine with "These are the voyages of the ..." to the end. It wasn't until I got home that it finally clicked that it was "Space, the final frontier." It wouldn't have been so odd if I hadn't had every line of every episode of the original series memorized at one point in my late teens.

The brain does interesting things sometimes. I just sit back and enjoy the ride.
 

steve_bank

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A common term for such things is 'brain fart'. We all have them.


We are not computers or Vulcans. Humans actually have a measurable failure rate. Given a repetitive task that is well learned and practiced occasionally it gets don wrong. It is not a matter of intelligence.

That is probably why politicians learn on camera to speak in short simple responses.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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A common term for such things is 'brain fart'. We all have them.
This isn't that. That is when you can't come up with something or your brain BSODs. The issue I raised is more specific about language becoming foreign suddenly.

Seeing this is common is the best news I've heard since finding out I'm not the only person who had issues hearing the lyrics in songs.
 

Worldtraveller

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The most recent time this happened to me was with the word 'grocery'.

I was saying it, but my brain was like "no, that's not the right word".....
 

bilby

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The most recent time this happened to me was with the word 'grocery'.

I was saying it, but my brain was like "no, that's not the right word".....

The condition of being gross. "The revelation was so disgusting, I just couldn't get over the sheer grocery of it".
 

Angry Floof

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finding out I'm not the only person who had issues hearing the lyrics in songs.

You, too? Unless it's a song where the lyrics are loud and clear above the music, I have to put some effort into focusing on lyrics to hear them. All my life I've heard people say things like, "Oh, that song's message is so beautiful!" about a song I've heard a million times. Then I listen to the lyrics and realize, oh, yeah, that is a beautiful message.
 

Tharmas

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finding out I'm not the only person who had issues hearing the lyrics in songs.

You, too? Unless it's a song where the lyrics are loud and clear above the music, I have to put some effort into focusing on lyrics to hear them. All my life I've heard people say things like, "Oh, that song's message is so beautiful!" about a song I've heard a million times. Then I listen to the lyrics and realize, oh, yeah, that is a beautiful message.

That's exactly my experience too, except I'm often disappointed when I finally listen to the words. :(
 

Angry Floof

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finding out I'm not the only person who had issues hearing the lyrics in songs.

You, too? Unless it's a song where the lyrics are loud and clear above the music, I have to put some effort into focusing on lyrics to hear them. All my life I've heard people say things like, "Oh, that song's message is so beautiful!" about a song I've heard a million times. Then I listen to the lyrics and realize, oh, yeah, that is a beautiful message.

That's exactly my experience too, except I'm often disappointed when I finally listen to the words. :(

Me, too. :/
 

steve_bank

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A common term for such things is 'brain fart'. We all have them.
This isn't that. That is when you can't come up with something or your brain BSODs. The issue I raised is more specific about language becoming foreign suddenly.

Seeing this is common is the best news I've heard since finding out I'm not the only person who had issues hearing the lyrics in songs.
Same response in general. We are not computers.

Even when I was deep into it there were times a technical fact did not come to mind or the wrong fact would come to mind. I could be thinking one thing and find myself saying another. Sometimes I would start doing things wrong I had done many times before..

If you think you have a cognitive problem see a se specialist and get tested.

I know from my own experience and of others that stress affects all facets of cognition. Stress you may not consciously be aware of.

Eve run into someone you know well and can't remember the name immediately?
 

Treedbear

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Eve run into someone you know well and can't remember the name immediately?

Evry day. I've always been really terrible remembering names. Otherwise I'd be worried about it.

Golly...I thought it was just me.

Yeah, I can have nice, friendly, even very open conversations with my neighbors. But I dread having to say hello because I can't remember their names or their kids names for shit. But that's always been the case since I was a kid. I need a real reason to remember. Maybe I'm just lazy or maybe I just don't care. But that doesn't add up because I do care. I just don't care enough to want to get involved. I mean well. I just don't know. But it is a hardship.
 

bilby

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Golly...I thought it was just me.

Yeah, I can have nice, friendly, even very open conversations with my neighbors. But I dread having to say hello because I can't remember their names or their kids names for shit. But that's always been the case since I was a kid. I need a real reason to remember. Maybe I'm just lazy or maybe I just don't care. But that doesn't add up because I do care. I just don't care enough to want to get involved. I mean well. I just don't know. But it is a hardship.

There are tricks you can employ. There's a short evening class you can do based on the ideas of that guy, you know who I mean, well known guy, he was a big fan of Lincoln, wrote "How to Win Friends and Influence People". Name starts with P. Or was it D. That guy.

Anyway, his course really helped me with remembering names.
 

blastula

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Seeing this is common is the best news I've heard since finding out I'm not the only person who had issues hearing the lyrics in songs.

That's just a sign that you listen to too much Yes.

:rimshot:
 

blastula

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Omg, Treedbear, you just blew my mind. I looked that up and I did have it wrong the whole time. Scared now. :eek:
 

Tharmas

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So just this morning I was on the phone with my boss and I was trying to tell her where I’d stored some Windows files. The words “root folder” seemed strange and totally inappropriate. I went blank for a few seconds trying the think of the “right” word. All I came up with was some weird circumlocution.

As soon as we hung up the phone I checked and of course “folder” was what I wanted all along. The “right” word I was trying to remember was “directory,” which I think goes back to DOS if not mainframes. I don’t know if it would have helped if I’d come up with that one, because I’m not sure exactly how old she is. I think she’s roughly half my age.
 
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