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amusia (ay-MYOO-zee-uh) noun

The inability to produce or comprehend music or musical sounds.

[New Latin, from Greek amousia state of being without the Muses, especially song.]

"Like other patients suffering from the clinical condition known as amusia, she can easily identify environmental sound - a chicken clucking, a cock crowing, a baby crying. But no melody in the world - not even `Happy Birthday' - triggers so much as a wisp of recognition." James Shreeve, Music of the hemispheres, Discover, Oct 1996.

There is nothing amusing about amusia, especially when it is you who happens to be struck with the malady. My guess is most of us are when it comes to the inability-to-produce-music part, few where the appreciation part is concerned. This week's AWAD features more words about ailments and afflictions, words you don't want to hear from your doctor's mouth. -Anu


I don't know who my grandfather was; I'm much more concerned to know what his grandson will be. -Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

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