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This is a question Losing it

Bluehamster tells us: "This morning I found myself filling my mug not a teabag, but with Shreddies." Tell us of the times when you've convinced yourself that you're losing your marbles.

(, Thu 21 Jul 2011, 12:59)
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I'm normally quite good at keeping focus.
Once I'm engaged in a task, I don't get distracted all that easily.

But there was one occasion on which my powers of keeping to the point failed me entirely, and I totally forgot what I was doing mid-way through the job. It happened about ten years ago, and that's interesting in itself because even giving a precise time or date to this event seems to be beyond me. I'm normally quite good at that: I can remember all kinds of pointless details about the circumstances in which something happened, even to details about what day it was, what someone was wearing, and so on. This frequently irritates my interlocutors no end, but more often than not, it turns out that I was right. Having said that, there really is no way to tell whether my memory really is that accurate if noone else's is reliable either. I could say just about anything and noone would have any grounds to gainsay me - and this, of course, gives me the feeling of having been correct, though whether my statements map onto reality all that well is another question entirely, and one that's probably imponderable. (Think here of Wittgenstein's example in the Philosophical Investigations of buying a second copy of a newspaper in order to verify the contents of the first. If you want verification, you need an external reference. This is one of the reasons why he thinks a private language is impossible: you have no standard against which to check the accuracy of your use of a word, and so can't know whether you're correct in your application; and if you can't know whether a word is well-used, you can't be said to understand your own private language. It also means, I think, that words have no meaning unless and until they have an established place in the language: to that end, I've been trying to introduce the word "pitimmeral" - a word I invented - into English, purely so I can find out at some point in the future what it means. I've managed to use it in a few published papers, and a mate who contributes stuff to newspapers has tried to slip it in to his work on a couple of occasions, though he's also generally been foiled by editors. One of the editors that won't accept the word is his wife; you'd've thought that she'd be more understanding, but apparently not. Tsk. Professional standards: I ask you. Other members of my department have said they'll try to use it - there's an informal prize that's been offered by my Head of Department to the first person who can use the word in earnest in a published paper. It probably won't happen: a lot of peer reviewers are quite gradgrindian. I don't much like Dickens, but I do like the word "gradgrindian", and I'll forgive him a lot for having given us that.) I have been caught out a couple of times, though. I have what I thought was a distinct memory from the time when my mother was pregnant with my brother, and coming up to full term. I must have been about two-and-a-half at the time, so this is one of my earliest memories. It's of my mum picking sweet peas from the garden in the sun - which is plausible, since my brother was born in July - while wearing a purple maternity dress. My mother claims never to have owned such a garment; and I'm inclined to believe her recollection more than my own, for reasons that should be obvious. There're other events related to my brother's birth that I also remember fairly distinctly - or, rather, images. Things like the illuminated buttons in the lift to the maternity ward, my dad having a cigar in my grandfather's garden, and so on. He had a moustache at the time, and I'm glad he got rid of it, because I think that it's hard for most men to carry that look well, and I often wonder what happened to people's sense of style in the 1970s. The whole decade seems to me to have been a massive style disaster. Part of me wonders whether that simply had to do with the economic trough in which the country found itself: perhaps people simply didn't have the money. But a lack of money won't understand the colourschemes that we fashionable at the time. I always associate the 1970s with brown; and I can't understand why anyone would find anything brown to be anything approaching well-advised in terms of style. Not that I can claim to be anything like a style guru. I am the proud owner and frequent wearer of a cardigan, after all, and I own shirts that could be convicted of crimes against humanity. Well, almost. And I do like them. I sometimes find a shirt that is so hideous it plays on my mind, an insinuates itself into my consciousness, and stays there, until, next thing I know, I've bought it and am wearing it with no shame whatsoever. I bought one such shirt when I lived in Birmingham, and it was when I was once driving from Birmingham back to my parents' house in Stoke (we were all going to see my brother graduate from Cranwell, during which there was a group of officer cadets from the French Air Force whose uniforms made them look like Aeroflot ground crew) - a journey that I'd made countless times in all conditions - that, I suddenly noticed that I had not the faintest idea where I was; and there was noone nearby whom I could ask for directions. Retracing my steps would be tricky, too, because I wouldn't know if I was retracing them accurately (a point which takes us neatly back to the Wittgenstein thing). The only thing I could do was to follow the road until I came across a sign, and hope that something on it was familiar. Fortunately, this strategy worked, and I wasn't stranded in the badlands of the West Midlands; but it added a significant amount of time to what ought to have been a fairly short and simple journey.

Like I said: this was odd, because I don't normally get distracted.
(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 11:13, 12 replies)
dude, unless that is the joke
you need line breaks as that is unreadable. If that is the joke I have not idea because hat is unreadable.
(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 11:43, closed)
^^ This
In fact, exactly worded that response in my head before I clicked the comment button. Damn your mind stealing!
(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 11:45, closed)
I think the joke worked.

(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 11:54, closed)
I'm glad someone got it...

(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 12:47, closed)

I got it, I totally got it. I even got the joke that was hidden behind the other joke that nobody else got. In fact I've found several other jokes hidden nearby and they're totally better jokes than your one so there!
(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 15:37, closed)
Yup. That is the joke.
(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 12:47, closed)

(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 11:48, closed)

Too dong?
(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 15:40, closed)
What a fantastically pitimmeral post.

(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 13:38, closed)
and, furthermore,
*awards medal for having got that far*
(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 13:43, closed)
Do you have any suggestion of what it means?
Or is it a "Mornington Crescent" deal?
(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 14:32, closed)
No idea really.
What I'd really like is for it to be adopted by a range of people and used in a range of circumstances, and to see how quickly - if ever, since I'm assuming the word survives at all - a settled meaning comes about.
(, Wed 27 Jul 2011, 15:03, closed)

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