Insanity? How Hysterically Absurd!

If you read my last post, then you know how hard it is to put a specific definition on the word “insanity.”  If you did not read my last post, then I cannot help but wonder why you skipped to my second.  That’s like watching The Godfather Pt. II before the first one.  It may seem like a timesaver, but then all of a sudden you are left wondering “Who is the Vito Corleone fellow, and what does he have to do with the story?”  But I digress…

Insanity is an interesting word to say the least.  If one were to narrow down the possible uses of it, they would find two big ones. 

The original and primary use of the word is as a medical diagnosis.  In this sense, the word is a general term for psychotic or social conditions of the mind.  “Insane” would, in essence be a broad term, such as “Mental Disorder” or “Physical Condition.”  Synonyms for specific uses of this type of insanity would be neurosis, phobia, psychosis, dementia, etc.

Now more than ever, insanity has become the subject of many a hyperbole.  When someone does something even remotely different, people have a tendency to call them “insane.”  For example –

“You think the Chicago (insert Chicago sports franchise) will win the (insert name of sports tournament)?  You are insane!”

Here synonyms for insanity would include absurdity, craziness, delusion and, in most cases, sheer stupidity.  If you need me to tell you what the antonym of INsanity is, then stop reading right now.  However, since it is required…

IN- is a prefix indicating the opposite or lack of something.  Sanity, meaning “sane” or with common sense and without delusion, would mean the opposite with IN- attached, forming our favorite word, insanity.  Antonyms include wellness, balance, and, of course, sanity.

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1 Comment

  1. Vito Corleone was insane? Sorry, I lost focus.
    Love the Chicago note…particularly after decades of watching the NY Franchises take it on the chin (and what the heck….even the Knicks are on the upswing! This is L-insane!!)

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