A Lackadaisical Lexicon for Laggard Logophiles

PAREIDOLIA

[noun]

a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse.

The word comes from the Greek words para- (“παρά" = ‘beside’, ‘alongside’, ‘instead’) in this context meaning something faulty, wrong, instead of; and the noun eidōlon (“είδωλον" = ‘image’, ‘form’, ‘shape’) the diminutive of eidos. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia.

[Cara Barer]

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