Possible Duplicate:
Is there a word or phrase for the feeling you get after looking at a word for too long?

If you say a certain word enough times, it starts to sound/feel different. I had this today with the word patio, and in the end I felt like I barely know the word anymore.

I am not sure how else to describe this, but that’s pretty much the reason I’m asking – what is this phenomenon called?

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  • not a duplicate at all. The questions are related and someone wrongly answered "semantic satiation" there, but the question there refers to uncertainty in spelling and here it's about uncertainty in meaning and/or speech. – Mark Oct 25 '11 at 20:13
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    I do think it's a duplicate; according to the wikipedia page it definitely covers meaning, which is what I experienced. – tenfour Oct 25 '11 at 20:16
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    Aha! This would explain the sudden influx of upvotes on my semantic satiation answer. :D – Marthaª Oct 26 '11 at 1:23
  • No, tenfour, you must have misunderstood me. Semantic satiation is the right term here, for your question, but not for the other one. Semantic satiation has to do with meaning, precisely as you mentioned, but the other question is about the spelling looking funny. I don't get why you guys all think it's the same thing. – Mark Oct 26 '11 at 8:21

The term you are looking for is semantic satiation.

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    Now try to say semantic satiation enough times to make it sound weird! – Josh Oct 25 '11 at 21:18

Perhaps the name of this is mantra, a sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer or incantation.

If I rightly recall, James Randi offered the following as a mantra that everyone should invoke from time to time...

owah tanah siam

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  • I've heard owa tagu siam. :) – Daniel Oct 26 '11 at 0:23

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