Friday, August 02, 2013

Word Loss of the Day: Quotient

I have words of the day, I even have words of the quarter, but I have recently realised that I need a whole new category for what's happening to me.

You know when you say a word but all of a sudden it doesn't mean anything* and you say it and say it and word and meaning are just freefalling away from each other and refuse to be yoked by violence together?

Well today I said a word and I realised I didn't know what it meant. And that word is quotient.

 I know I can look at a dictionary - I actually did - but even in its purely mathematical sense, it seems like such an excessive word, you know? And when it comes to its use in IQ, or EQ or some other variation, it just a noise instead of a word.

So I'm sitting here today looking at this word and I know it's not a form of aphasia. It's as a husk of a word that I once didn't need to look at to know what it meant.

Every so often, I find words like this that I realise I've already lost and it's a little dismaying. Word loss is a somehow a matter of pride or vanity. I'm kind of wishing I could find some form of linguistic deep or leave-in conditioner that will repair damage and leave my vocabulary feeling nourished and well-cared-for.


*Somewhat like when I look in the mirror and the reflection makes no sense, because the person there can't be a [insert name here].


km said...

What you are describing is known as semantic satiation. Which, I know, is totally not the point of your post, but I find "satiation" to be another word devoid of any meaning.

Space Bar said...

km: If, by 'semantic satiation', you mean I'm actually sick of this work, you are totally correct.

Space Bar said...

word. not work. Gah

km said...

word. not work

LOL. Freudian slip or Fat Finger?

Space Bar said...

More the first than the second, I suspect!