I have observed a new phenomenon in myself this year and noticed different patterns in how my brain interacts with language in the period after trauma. I have a lot of other stress reactions going on that seem to be hypothalamus stuff (loss of circadian rhythm, weird appetite things, feeling hot and sweaty) but am not sure how any of that plays into processing language. I would love to learn more about this, either from anecdotes or from a more research-based perspective. [more inside]
When people say, "It is what it is", what do they mean? What does that mean? [more inside]
I'm looking for stories about telling jokes until they are no longer funny. How do people who write comedy tell if the jokes they are writing are still funny after repeating them so many times? I'm interested in hearing more about the short half-life of the joke, and the ways a joke can function after it has lost it's ha-ha-ha. [more inside]
Outside of Freudian slips, is there any scientific evidence that people's word choices unconsciously reveal states of mind that they are trying to conceal? [more inside]
What is the most important scientific question of our time? [more inside]
I recently read about a study on what body language women use as perceived by men. Essentially, it said that there was no observable difference between a woman trying to flirt with a man and the same woman just being polite for the first four or five minutes of their first conversation together. I'm trying to find out if this actually happened, and if so whether it was a reliable, scientifically done study, but I lost the link right after reading it.
Is there a psychological grounds for the continual transposition of related words over the lifetime of an individual? [more inside]
Oh, so you're a [insert profession here]! How [insert whacky generalization and misguided curiosity here]?
What is the first question people ask when you tell them what you do? Are there common misconceptions or generalizations that people make? How do you tactfully and/or humorously correct them? [more inside]
I am interested in the mimetic and narrative capacities of artefacts, how cultural remnants transmit information through time and how meaning is translated once an artefact is re-appropriated or examined from a new perspective. I have several avenues of study at the moment (a list in extended explanation), but would like some more ideas. Areas of critical theory, linguistics, evolutionary psychology and poetics are all relevant. [more inside]
Is there a word for: expecting to feel grief or ache of conscience and then not feeling it? [more inside]
I am searching for examples of The Infinite, or the immeasurably large, in our mythologies and archetypes. I am also interested in the categories of Truth which came out of the emergence of Western, ontological thought. Does the trust in a rationally conceivable reality deny us the infinity of the mythological realm? By rooting ourselves in the present, and denying atemporal mythologies, do we also deny the infinite origins from where we came? [more inside]
Name That Thing! You know that feeling you get sometimes when you wonder what would happen if you did something outrageous- punched a cop, stepped off a building, peed on the dinner table? No? Well, I'm sure I'm not the only one, because both Daniel Clowes (in Eightball) and P.G. Wodehouse (in Carry On, Jeeves) mention it. The problem is, what do you call it? Does any culture have a word for this? I certainly can't think of an (American) English word or phrase shorter than "You know that feeling when...", etc.
What is the nature of the relationship between thought and language? [more inside]
What is the label for an entity or idea which began as nothing and came to have identity through its own fictionalisation? That is, notions diametrically opposed to 'simulacra' - in that the entity has no referent to begin with... [more inside]