Saturday, 09 July 2005

Jargonaphasia, or Why Must Freudom Mathemetastasize? Once upon a time I majored in linguistics. (I know you know that, but this is a story and this is how a story starts. Chill.) One day my neurolinguistics professor learned me all about this thing which not a thing but a symptom of a problem demanding attention. She called this symptom of a problem "jargonaphasia" and it demands lengthy and rambling words strung together but barely grammatical and still somehow communicates something close to what the jargonaphasic patient intends. Jargonaphasia is most frequently caused by strokes. It is characterized by an inability or blockage to communicate discourse freely and directly without restraint but also by a tendency to engage in a proclivity for neologism. And the neologism is often a nonce-word, that is, one which applies to a specific situation and only that situation and never again is spoken or applies. To wit for example: Upon being shown a picture of a building the jargonaphasic patient (who I will call X. Cephalous) dislikes the tumbling words may include "architorture."* Upon being played an acoustic version of the Cure's "Fascination Street," X. Cephalous may ask about its "dissynthegration." Upon being told of the way in which some Marxist thinkers hold fast to the theories of another Marxist Thinker, X. Cephalous may laugh at all those "glomrads." Upon being shown a lecture of one prominent Marxist Thinker, X. Cephalous may inquire as to amount of his "honorrhea." Upon being introduced to an unsufferable blowhard who brags endlessly about his imagined exploits in the Great Outdoors, X. Cephalous may comment on his hatred of "kyacting."** In short, jargonaphasia sits on the boundary between literal language in which the reference is discernible and metaphorical language in which the referent runs away and demands the following of students of literature to discern and select among possible intended meanings. A jargonaphasic patient may describe an evelope as something that "is a peculiar missive for demanding a disperse." A nail file flips its sounds around and "is a knife, a knife tail, a knife, stale, stale knife." Scissors become "groves, it's a groves, it's not really groves, two groves containing a comb, no, not a comb, two groves providing that a commandment is not now." I when I with pen, no, fingers and words with writing before, yes, before now I said at the boundary of literal and metaphorical language but I could have said literal, because literal, it is what it is, intended, a representative of its intended, not really, that would be metaphorical. Literal language aims at precision and sharply, decidedly tracks down after its referent, to which it refers, whereas metaphorical language chases, is chased, yes, is chased by readers who know it means but means not what, but knows not what. Do I fry fish which are larger and more important, intellectual, with this fish frying? I may, yes, perhaps but, but no promise, only when said not directly, immediately, no, not immediately but still said so known, yes.*** *More: Upon...

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