P.S. Quick note on “mind-numbing”

P.S.  After one of my tapings, some of the wonderful folks who work behind the camera got together with me to discuss one of my favorite adjectives, “mind-numbing”.  They said that they thought it meant “really, really, really boring”, while I and some others thought that it meant “so exciting that it overloads one’s mind.”

Turns out that we were both right, but the more common definition may be theirs.  Here’s Dictionary.com‘s take on the word…  From the first definition: “extremely boring”; from the second definition: “extremely intense”.  Interesting that the same word can have exactly opposite meanings!  (Interesting — as in, not mind-numbing, in either sense…)  But, since the “boring” definition was the first one given, I may need to concede the point and find a new favorite adjective for “extremely intense.”

And if you think such musings are mind-numbing, feel free to let me know or to keep it to yourself, depending on which “mind-numbing” your numbed mind might be thinking. 🙂

Back to packing!

7 thoughts on “P.S. Quick note on “mind-numbing”

  1. Carolyn

    To me, something that is “mind-numbing” is something boring. When I think of something that “overloads” the mind with excitement and possiblities, I think that is more of a “mind-boggling” experience. I can see your point, though, about overloading the mind so much it numbs it. I think that is why you have to put a limit on how much information you give at a time.

    Have a safe trip to Dallas and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. rakkav

    How strange. I can think of times when I’ve fallen into both camps (one or the other at a given time, that is). The dual meaning seems entirely context-driven. It must’ve been derived by someone like me, who is context-driven to a fault. (No wonder I like Biblical Hebrew so much.)

    Maybe I’ll start using “mind-bending” for things that overwhelm and “mind-numbing” for things that underwhelm, so to speak.

    You’re a treat, Dear Sir. Don’t ever change, unless it brings you that much closer to the Image of Christ! 😀

  3. Mind-blowing.

    I once had a task I described a “blood-curdling boring.” I was thinking, couldn’t we do inventory more accurately with the link state of the network switches and listing the IP address active on each port?

  4. Craig

    I have always taken “mind-numbing” to mean dumbing down. I use “mind-boggling” or “mind-blowing”. Or refrasing it: “That statistic just blows your mind!”

  5. rakkav

    Ignore Lyndell. 😉 “Mind-blowing” is a state that leaves you unable to think. At least a “mind-bending” state lets you wonder why you’re still thinking. 😀

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