Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 4 22:08:32 UTC 2008

How about "samnesia," the supposed ability of a black man to forget
that he's black, when in the company of white men? Of course, I've
never come across the word, but I have, amazingly, come across the
concept. In an otherwise-forgotten novel written by some random white
dude, a black sidekick, busily kicking sides with several white guys,
is reminded that he's black only when he sees the group reflected in a
store window.

Unreal. And I ain't going for it.


On Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 11:15 AM, Jim Parish <jparish at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU>
>  Subject:      Re: Momnesia
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  Laurence Horn wrote:
>  > How about "hamnesia", the tendency for kosher Jews and Muslims
>  > observing halal laws to suppress their memory of eating pork?  Or
>  > "cramnesia", which inevitably affects students after they've taken the
>  > exam for which they've intensively prepared.
>  The first one that sprang to my mind was "polymnesia", the tendency to
>  forget lots of things. ("Pelopomnesia", forgetfulness of classical history?
>  "Indomnesia", forgetfulness of the history of the American West? The
>  South Pacific suggests lots of possibilities....)
>  Jim Parish
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>  The American Dialect Society -

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
                                              -Sam'l Clemens

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