“Semantic satiation” is the idle tendency to repeat one word or phrase over and over until you perceive it only as a collection of meaningless sounds. I do this enough that it stopped feeling foreign a long time ago; the thing I now find odd is how quickly I assign a name to it. As a word disintegrates into its constituent parts, immediately the sounds are replaced by words that still have meaning: semantic satiation.
I’m not sure if there’s a term for when this happens with thoughts, but that process still feels strange to me in a way semantic satiation hasn’t in a while. I recently went to Iceland for my honeymoon, and as my wife (!) and I traveled through disparate landscapes and stopped at one natural wonder after another, a single question kept bubbling to the surface. Why here? Continue reading “You have to live somewhere”