We love to borrow terms from the French. We have many words and terms we use as if we invented them. They also seem to work into our comfort zone better than the English words spoken that mean the same thing. In fact, over 45% of the words we use are French. Didn’t know that did you? Oh, you did, sorry I under estimated you.
Common French words in our language are: table, routine, competition, role, police, machine, money, force, art, publicity…and on and on. I love French words. I learned to say a French word invented in 1946. It was hard to say and much easier to show you.
HERE IS MY FAVORITE FRENCH WORD
When it comes to “déjà vu” our computers are already set up to automatically put those accents above the letters. We’ve worked these French words in for many centuries.
Sixty seven percent of us have experienced déjà vu. I have. Have you? Interestingly, I have not had a déjà vu experience in many years. I don’t know if any other old people have those interesting experiences. I remember many years ago asking my dad if he had “already seen” (that’s what the French words mean) experiences. He answered that he had them many times, but not for many years. That’s my experience. I’d love to know if anyone over sixty ever has déjà vu. Just asking.
Obviously we have had scientists, psychologists and neurologists studying this phenomenon for decades. There are a few schools of thought. One of those answers seems to satisfy me in understanding these events.
One first has to understand how our brains function. They are not a movie camera. We have these millions of pathways and storage areas upstairs. When we recall a memory our brain has to go to many places to grab all of the memory. One place to capture the sound, another for the feeling, another for the picture and on and on.
SO…this psychologist has figured out that when we first see this “situation” or “object” that we swear we have seen or been there before, it is a simple matter of the initial split-second sighting gets stored in a “recall” box and so in the next instant we are recalling and seeing it for what we think is the second time. Makes sense to me.
There are other French words we use for similar weird experiences.
Have you ever had a “jamais vu?” That means “never seen.” This is an experience of seeing a person, object or place that you know you have actually seen before and yet you experience the feeling that this is the FIRST time you’ve ever been there or done that.
Have you ever had a “Presque vu?” Bet you have. I have these every day. Just had two tonight. I was talking music to a buddy and thought of a song, the names of the guys in the band and couldn’t come up with the actual band name. It was on the tip of my tongue. An hour after I left him I remembered “Uriah Heep.”
Presque Vu means “almost seen.”
That sounds too weird. I just call it “oldfartsdisease.”
Have a nice week!