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To see the Fnords!

Have you ever encountered a new word only to realise it’s everywhere now, or – even weirder – that it was always there all along? It’s called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. It’s happened to me a numerous times, for instance with the word ‘copacetic.’ To my knowledge the first time I ever was aware that anything could be copacetic, was while reading Worm by Wildbow. I’ve since discovered the word in numerous books, tv-shows, songs etc. where I could have sworn it didn’t exist before I read it in Worm.

Today, however, brought with it an even stranger example. I’m a big fan of Munchkin by Steve Jackson Games. Appropriately I have an account on their forum because of this. Every year on my birthday the forum automatically sends me this amazing little e-mail gem:

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
The Illuminati are watching
Everything that you do

It’s an annual joy, to be honest. Today is the birthday of one of my dear friends, and – being the plagiarist that I am – I decided to steal the irreverent birthday greeting. Hold up. Fnord? Did it always say ‘fnord?’ For the last four years I’ve been reading it as ‘fhtagn!’ Sure enough. Looking through my inbox, it’s always been ‘fnord’ and not ‘fhtagn.’ I’ve been perceiving it wrong for over four years.

So what does ‘fnord’ even mean? Well, according to Wikipedia…oh. Oh, wow.

Apparently ‘fnord’ – the word I’ve been unable to see for so long – is an Illuminati conspiracy word, which is supposedly characterised by people’s inability to see it. ‘To see the fnords’ is idiomatic for the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.

I have finally seen the fnords in regards to the fnords.

I credit my recent excessive playing of The Secret World.

Excessive Playing

It’s clearly made me more receptive to piercing the conspiratorial veil of secret societies.

I’m off to buy a tin-foil hat before I forget about the word ‘fnord’ again…

Or it could just be a coincidence.

Yes, keep telling yourself that, sheeple.


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