Tuesday, March 24, 2020

TIP TUESDAY: SEMANTIC SATIATION

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I came across the phrase semantic satiation and thought it was interesting enough to share with you. I'd never heard of it before.

Semantic satiation is a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or phrase to temporarily lose meaning for the listener,[1] who then perceives the speech as repeated meaningless sounds. Extended inspection or analysis (staring at the word or phrase for a lengthy period of time) in place of repetition also produces the same effect.

If you'd like to learn more about this odd circumstance, then hop on over to my source, Wikipedia.

My mother used to repeat the same words repeatedly and repeatedly repeat things she heard on the news.

Her speech often sounded as if she were an "adult" on the Charlie Brown/Peanuts TV specials. Wah Wah Wah Wah Wah: she was convinced she was using words but I only heard noise.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


25 comments:

  1. It isn't a phrase I had come across either, but I am more than familiar with the effect.
    Thanks for continuing my education.

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    1. You're welcome, dear one. I appreciate your appreciation, which is appreciable.

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  2. I love that. Had never heard of semantic sanitation. Wow wow wow wow wow wow wowwowwowwowwowwowwowwowwowwo

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    1. That's a whole lotta nothing, Mitchell. I can't hear a word.

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  3. What I first read was semantic sanitation and I thought, What the hell is Janie talking now:)

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    1. Oh, Jenny. Isn't Rick funny? Rick, I guess semantic sanitation would mean cleaning up your language.

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  4. I always knew this existed, but I never knew there was a name for it. Thanks, Miss Bug!

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    1. I haven't seen you in forever and a day, young lady. It's about time you came around.

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  5. Yes. I've experienced this phenomenon. I didn't know there was a word for it.

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    1. That's interesting. I'd love to know how you experienced it and then realized it.

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  6. Semantic satiation has mercifully happened to the F-word. It's got no effect whatsoever except to mark the speaker as lazy.

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    1. I'm a lazy speaker. Effs like to pop out of my mouth, but I keep them under control when Carol is present. She'd wash my mouth out with soap.

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  7. I remember discovering this effect - it was the word cake that did it to me! Love to know the proper names for this kind of thing - thanks, Janie Junebug :D

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    1. A friend of mine suggested to me that this phenomenon may well occur with Trumpeteers. They go to his crazy rallies and only hear a word here and there.

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  8. I believe my children would say I am guilty of that.

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  9. I have experienced this but had no idea what it was called. Thanks, Janie! You share the coolest things.

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    ReplyDelete

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