At the end of this comment, I said

I haven't seen such use in transportation but maybe it's just my ignorance.

In fact, in the context of that question thread, I was trying to say "I had never noticed if the word 'observe' was ever used in transportation." But I don't know the noun that means "not noticing something."

I looked up in the dictionary and realized:

  • When used as a noun, "overlook" means "a place from where a person can look at something, especially at an area of natural beauty."
  • I also thought about "negligence," but it suggests that I have a certain responsibility for something. However, I certainly don't have the responsibility to notice if the word "observe" is used in transportation or not.
  • In my quoted comment, I chose "ignorance" that means the lack of knowledge. But I think "ignorance" means "the state of not knowing something." I am trying to say: "OK, I had noticed the use of "observe" in such and such contexts, but I had never noticed the same use in some other context."

Maybe the difference between "not knowing" and "not noticing" is too subtle to have another word for it. Maybe "ignorance" is already the best choice. Anyway, I'm still curious.


(Hmm... Maybe it's just "overlooking"?)

  • hmmm ... a noun?
    – lbf
    Jan 21, 2019 at 19:02
  • See this answer to a similar question.
    – pbasdf
    Jan 21, 2019 at 19:26

2 Answers 2


You could say:

... maybe it's just my impercipience.

M-W defines it as

the quality or state of being imperceptive

It fits with your use case of of not observing with particular care.

  • 1
    Very nice word!
    – Dan
    Jan 22, 2019 at 10:39

I’d suggest obliviousness:

Obliviousness (noun): a state of being disregardful or unconscious of one's surroundings, concerns, or obligations. ”Her general obliviousness often results in her walking into walls and other hard-to-miss objects”

Reference: [Merriam-Webster]

While I think it’s the best fit for what you’re asking, the adjective version (oblivious) is far more common. It’s easily incorporated into your example sentence - “I haven’t seen such use in transportation, although it could just be that I’ve been oblivious

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