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#208250 - 12/07/12 09:44 PM Type of coincidence  
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A C Bowden Offline
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A C Bowden  Offline
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I wonder if there is a name for a situation where:

(a) one notices something apparently surprising or noteworthy;
(b) this turns out to be due to a misconception;
(c) the surprising/noteworthy thing then turns out to be true after all.

For example:

I open my curtains and see what appears to be snow on the grass. Then I notice that what I have seen is actually a large white board. I then look beyond it and discover that there is indeed a covering of snow on the grass.

Or:

I assume from a newspaper report that a friend of mine has died. I then discover that it is someone else of the same name, but very soon afterwards I learn that my friend has died about the same time.

Or:

An event in my dream happens in reality while I am dreaming (and is not a cause of my dream).

These are coincidences, but of a special kind. Is there a concise expression that describes such occurrences?

#208253 - 12/07/12 10:10 PM Re: Type of coincidence [Re: A C Bowden]  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
one thing you've got there is synchronicity, or coincidence in time.. but I don't think that's what you're looking for - it doesn't include the misconception

#208260 - 12/08/12 04:24 PM Re: Type of coincidence [Re: tsuwm]  
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zmjezhd Offline
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R'lyeh
synchronicity

Yes, (as Tsuwm says) this leaves out your condition b. I think synchronicity also has an element of déjà vu or of its sibling (in psychological terms) jamais vu (link). There are some weird terms out there for all sorts of mental states. You might also want to look at infinite regress of "Turtles all the way down" (link.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#208272 - 12/09/12 11:52 PM Re: Type of coincidence [Re: zmjezhd]  
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Rhubarb Commando Offline
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Rhubarb Commando  Offline
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If the coincidence is a pleasnt one, then one could, perhaps, refer to it as "serendipitous synchronicity." But this could ot apply to,e.g., the death of your friend, as posrukated above.

Of course, this is two words, not the single term for which you seek.


I'm immortal until proven otherwise
#208274 - 12/10/12 12:51 AM Re: Type of coincidence [Re: Rhubarb Commando]  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
"serendipitous synchronicity" ≠ "unpropitious synchronicity"

#208275 - 12/10/12 12:58 AM Re: Type of coincidence [Re: Rhubarb Commando]  
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jenny jenny Offline
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jenny jenny  Offline
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AC, the word you want is prescient recombinant misconception.

(say this phrase ten times real fast and it will roll with ease off the tip of your pointed tongue) smile

#208288 - 12/10/12 02:41 PM Re: Type of coincidence [Re: jenny jenny]  
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A C Bowden Offline
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A C Bowden  Offline
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Thanks for the replies – particularly jenny jenny's! cool

#208294 - 12/11/12 01:52 PM Re: Type of coincidence [Re: A C Bowden]  
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mtc Offline
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mtc  Offline
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Part of the difficulty in answering your question lies in the way the situation is framed:

"(a) one notices something apparently surprising or noteworthy;
(b) this turns out to be due to a "misconception;"

Example one, however, illustrates a "misperception" rather than a "misconception," not to put too fine a point on it. You perceived something with your senses (eyesight) without giving it substantial thought, then on second look realized your misperception. Your perception never rose to the level of conception. For a discussion of the difference
in the two words see ( http://grammarist.com/usage/conceive-perceive/)

In the second look you perceived, then perceived again. This is "reperception," a word found in the dictionary. Still, the situation reminds me very much of "pentimento" in art, and the title of Lillian Hellman's biography.

In example two you described a "misunderstanding" of the facts rather than a "misperception" or "misconception." I would say the example illustrates a "corrected misunderstanding."

In example three, you depicted a pure coincidence, one event (the dream) having no
relation to the reality it coincidentally describes. To coin a word, how about "coincidream" or "dreamincidence?"

P.S. I am somewhat alarmingly described as "stranger" beneath my forum name, "mtc." I hope you are not xenophobic!

Last edited by mtc; 12/11/12 04:18 PM.
#208305 - 12/12/12 06:22 AM Re: Type of coincidence [Re: mtc]  
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jenny jenny Offline
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jenny jenny  Offline
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No mtc, here we are xenophobic only to those who remain a stranger.
Speaking of which...
Do you always enter discussions by re-framing the original question?

Just kidding, sorta. smile Welcome!

#208306 - 12/12/12 12:53 PM Re: Type of coincidence [Re: A C Bowden]  
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Faldage Offline
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Some of us are stranger nor others.

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