Monday, December 14, 2009

know your vus

i suspect déjà vu is not a new word for anyone, but the psychological phenomenon has two lesser known cousins: jamais vu and presque vu.

while déjà vu (french for "already seen") is the uncanny feeling that you have experienced something before but you cannot remember, jamais vu (french for "never seen") is an opposite of sorts; you feel like you should remember experiencing something before, but you cannot. presque vu ("almost seen") is subtly different from jamais vu and is more commonly known as "tip of the tongue" syndrome.

a practical example of each to illustrate the differences:
  • déjà vu - "havent i written this exact post before? i cant find it but i remember doing one."
  • jamais vu - "this entire post about vus just showed up on my blog but i dont remember ever writing it (though i must have)"
  • presque vu - "i just spent 20 minutes writing about déjà vu, jamais vu, and one other vu, but i cant, for the life of me, remember what the third vu is."

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