Friday, February 19, 2010


"Dr John, I am taking a coffee break.Keep a watch on this patient till I return," I instructed the house surgeon. Yet, when I came back, John had already left the ward but not before keeping a wrist watch on the patient's belly as a mark of his obedience! For, John suffered from a malady which I called Idiomagnosia.*

Now, lured by the asterisk, you need not search and yell for a footnote. Because the above asterisk is nothing more than an asterexasper(meaning an asterisk with no corresponding footnote). You need refer to a dictionary for the word Idiomagnosia either, since the word is of my coinage and may be considered a sniglet(any word that doesn't appear in dictionary but should). So, let me explain the meaning.

Idiomagnosia is a condition often found among literates in which the affected person is mentally blind to the true meaning of a given idiom or phrase due to ignorance real or feigned. To make the term more clear, I will illustrate it further.

Take, for instance, the case of George. He told me about an incident that strengthened his belief in astrology. According to George, a newspaper astrology column had once predicted for him ' a significant windfall in the near future.' Shortly thereafter, as he was returning home from his office, a thunderstorm broke out and a sudden gush of wind that got trapped in his umbrella flung him on to the ground. "As rightly prophesied by the astrologer," confessed George, "I had a real bad windfall."

A news item appeared a few years ago about a man who was rendered unconscious when he was hit by a heavy book. Even funnier was the fact that he was hit by a police officer. Apparently the officer's superior had given instruction to call the man to the police station for interrogation and he didn't co-operate, to 'throw the book at him' (which means slap a case against him). The police officer did just that. He threw a hardbound law journal at the poor man.

To be continued in next post......

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