Words that Look Funny

If you stare at them long enough

Simon Black
Aug 20 · 3 min read
Photo of Connie by Chandra Oh on Unsplash

Linguists have a term for that strange thing that happens when you look at a word when you are maybe a little tired and it’s been a long day and that word just looks wrong or weird. The term is semantic satiation. Here’s a few examples. If you look at these words for a little while, you will see strange meanings emerging and hilarity will ensue. I promise.

  1. Grant

This can be a nice boy’s name. Or it can be a tomb in Riverside Park. Can you guess who is buried in Grant’s tomb? You’re right, it was George Washington’s white horse. But anyhow, here’s another meaning for grant.

A small insect who thinks he’s a tiger?

Grrr! said the ant!

2. Minute

Fist of all, if you accent the second syllable it’s no longer anything on a clock. It suddenly means very small. Or does it? Maybe it means, that is your lizard, but this is my…

This is My Newt

3. Commit

First of all, commitment is impossible to spell correctly. Is it two m’s? Two t’s? Who the heck knows? It’s almost as hard as recommend or accommodate, two other impossibly hard to spell words. But if you look at this word long enough, everything becomes quite wintry. And if you lose your gloves, you know what you have to do? Find a friend and commit:

All images licensed from Shutterstock.com

4. Theory

This is my theory and I’m stickin’ to it: that if you look at this word long enough, it becomes the nickname you have given to your cookie friend:

This is The Ory!

5. Ensue

Hate to end on a rude one, but…no I don’t, who am I kidding? I love rude ones. So ensue is when hilarity follows, for example, as I used the word above. But it can also mean the place that Skip wishes he could be.

Skip and his Neighbor Sue!

Life’s Funny

Documenting life’s absurdities. Life IS funny, but not always in a “haha” kind of way :) Let’s hear your stories!

Simon Black

Written by

This is not the Simon Black that you know. This is a different Simon Black. He does not work in your organization or live in your city.

Life’s Funny

Documenting life’s absurdities. Life IS funny, but not always in a “haha” kind of way :) Let’s hear your stories!

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