Thursday, May 14, 2009

Word Weirdness

For many years I'd thought that it was just me who suffered from this quite stupid thing. Recent research indicates that I'm not alone. But I'd like to find out more, whether it's just weird people or if everyone goes through the turmoil.

It's a phenomenon I think I might call word weirdness, as that sums it up in an all encompassing way, and it happens to me exactly once every once in a while, or so.

I steam my way through life, as most of us do, reading, writing and rithmeticking and often do all of them without paying any attention to the processes involved. I drive into work in the morning and notice that driving has become one of those tasks that I can do without paying any attention to.

I'm at the level that a wise man told me once is called "unconscious competence", which simply means that I'm competent at it, so much so that I don't have to think about it. I'm at that level in driving, not everything by any means.

The art of writing is something that's relatively new to me and, as many would say, I'm trying. But I can claim to be good at spelling, shit like that. I always was, just without knowing what on earth to do with the vast vocabulary I was building up in my head.

Yet, every once in a while I get this word weirdness. It's when I start to focus on an everyday word, maybe because of a momentary glitch during which I wonder how to spell it, and the word springs out on me and starts to look different.

Last week it happened with "because". I wrote it down somewhere, stared at it and it sprung to life and began to look as if it was a word in a foreign language, as if it was alien to me and spelt weirdly. Now "because" is a nice everyday word that looks warm and friendly, there's nothing strange to it at all.

I was chatting to a friend about the phenomenon recently and she said that exactly the same thing happens to her. This was a reassuring discovery for both of us. We now exist with the knowledge that we're not alone as we battle through life struggling with word weirdness.

Does does anyone else out there experience this as well?

12 comments:

Dinidu said...

Happens quite a bit. I thought it was the ADHD to blame. I say the word out loud, and contemplate who was moronic to do so for the first time.

gutterflower said...

Haha. I know what you mean. Happens to me a little too often. I was obsessing over 'charred' the other day.

Jerry said...

Happens quite frequently! I'd be obsessing over each syllable in some word or the other...

Lady divine said...

ahhh... this sounds familiar..:) happens quite often...

blackexists said...

happened to me yesterday. the word "Friday" lost all meaning. :)

Fallen said...

it's worse when it's sinhala!
my sinhala is crap as it is... but sometimes I can't even remember the simplest words...

Gypsy said...

Ah! What a relief :)

Although the word weirdness is still permanently stuck on "past" and "passed" for me. Buggers me every time.

Makuluwo said...

If I write anything down and stare at it for more than 5 minutes, it starts to look weird.. :/

Spice said...

Happens quite often to me as well. Last time it happened it was > water!
concentrate and say it coupla times? and it's a whole new word..

woo tah
wot er
woo terrr
waa tah!

Anonymous said...

What a relief!! I totally get that way from time to time...often it's the most benign words...like 'the' & 'and'. Absolutely frustrating!

Heck, one of my worst idiosyncrasies is that if I look at myself for too long in the mirror, I start to lose sight of who I am. One moment, I'm Anon and then a little while later, I'm struggling to come to terms with the person before me.

I know...almost puts your weirdness to shame!

Anonymous said...

Ok , I do have a name for this all of you boys, girls and undecided.

It is called hykenflukie.

Also known as "a sudden rush of sh*t to the brain"

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon - Thank you for your wisdom