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Idiosyncratic Use of Words


mstoecker
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Hi guys,

I'm writing a termpaper on the old discussion whether or not Sheldon has Asperger's Syndrome.

A common practice of individuals with AS is the development of neologisms; meaning they tend to invent new words or use existing words in other contexts.

Can you think of any situation where this can be applyed to Sheldon?

Except Bazinga though ;)

Thanks,

-marco-

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I find that Sheldon is more a person who can relate a particular theory or fact to pretty much any given situation.

I cannot recall an episode where he makes up his own words as such, with the exception of "Bazinga".

Another possible exception could be the opening scene during the season 4 episode when Sheldon suggests not using the letter "M" anymore.

Thinking outside the box, I don't know if "Zazzles" counts either ??

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Thanks for your quick reply. Zazzles is a great idea. As I am not a native speaker, I have no clue what it means, though.

Does it derive from zazzy? What does it stand for?

Or has Sheldon given the word a new meaning to discribe the characteristica of a cat such as fleeciness, confidingness etc...

What do you think?

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Thanks for your quick reply. Zazzles is a great idea. As I am not a native speaker, I have no clue what it means, though.

Does it derive from zazzy? What does it stand for?

Or has Sheldon given the word a new meaning to discribe the characteristica of a cat such as fleeciness, confidingness etc...

What do you think?

He says the cat is 'zazzy', so yeah, that's a name from a description.

From Wikipedia...

Asperger syndrome

Several viewers have asserted that Sheldon's behavior is consistent with Asperger syndrome. The writers have stated that they did not use Asperger syndrome as a basis for the character, but instead thought of his actions as "Sheldony". Series co-creator Bill Prady stated: "We write the character as the character. A lot of people see various things in him and make the connections. Our feeling is that Sheldon's mother never got a diagnosis, so we don't have one". In an interview, Jim Parsons noted the writers' response, but added that in his opinion, Sheldon "couldn't display more traits" of Asperger's. Parsons, who plays Sheldon, has read John Elder Robison's memoir Look Me in the Eye about his life with Asperger syndrome, and said that: "A majority of what I read in that book touched on aspects of Sheldon". However, he also stated that "the way [sheldon's] brain works, it’s so focused on the intellectual topics at hand that thinking he’s autistic is an easy leap for people watching the show to make".

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I've got Asperger's and I tend to make up a lot of new words. xD Sorry to throw in the anecdote but what the hey.

Hi, thanks for your reply. Can you give an example?

Do you personally think, the Sheldon has AS? Which parallels/differences do you see?

Can you think of an example on hand where Sheldon makes up words?

cheers,

-marco-

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I've got Asperger's and I tend to make up a lot of new words. xD Sorry to throw in the anecdote but what the hey.

Hi, thanks for your reply. Can you give an example?

Do you personally think, the Sheldon has AS? Which parallels/differences do you see?

Can you think of an example on hand where Sheldon makes up words?

cheers,

-marco-

Okay, the word 'blikey', a combined word of 'blimey' and 'crikey'.

Well I looked up what Asperger's actually is and Sheldon does show quite a few signs of it, like a lack of empathy (I can relate to that a bit) and obsessive qualities.

I can't recall on the spot any words that Sheldon's made up though. >_<

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Thing is, overall, Sheldon doesn't actually have any difficulties with social interaction, which is one of the main characteristics of AS. He's not always comfortable in social situations, but has no problem conversing with others, meeting new people etc. He has built new friendships as the seasons have progressed, but he does show signs of repeated behaviour etc. He has set meals for each day, and set activities for each night, etc. He could have AS, but in a mild form.

@Seph - Do you find AS affects you in any way, then? You don't feel that you have it because you find you 'function' as normal? Apologies if that comes across worse than I intended, no offense was meant.

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@Walowizard: No offence taken dude. I don't think it affects me that much.

That's interesting. I have OCDs and the like, but nothing that heavily affects my life, but my two friends who have AS are affected. One with his mood, he's unable to maintain a steady mood, finds it difficult to work/maintain work relationships, and to a point, keep work and personal life separate.

The other has social interaction issues, and doesn't like change. Nothing can change. He's 23, still lives with his mum, has had the same menial job for the last 5-6 years, goes to the same club/pub every week on set days.

Personally, although it would be normal to me, I think I would find living like that difficult.

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@Walowizard: No offence taken dude. I don't think it affects me that much.

That's interesting. I have OCDs and the like, but nothing that heavily affects my life, but my two friends who have AS are affected. One with his mood, he's unable to maintain a steady mood, finds it difficult to work/maintain work relationships, and to a point, keep work and personal life separate.

The other has social interaction issues, and doesn't like change. Nothing can change. He's 23, still lives with his mum, has had the same menial job for the last 5-6 years, goes to the same club/pub every week on set days.

Personally, although it would be normal to me, I think I would find living like that difficult.

Yeah... I've probably got a quirk that I haven't noticed but hey, it means we're special in our own way. :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm so sorry for bumping an old thread, but I just discovered this forum and have been going through some of the threads.

Last episode of Season 3, Raj and Howard ask Sheldon what he's doing that evening at 4 pm because they wanted to take him to meet Amy for the first time, and he says 4 pm isn't evening, it's "prevening," (Or pre-evening? He says it really quickly) a word he made up to describe the ambiguous time of day between afternoon and evening.

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Thanks for your quick reply. Zazzles is a great idea. As I am not a native speaker, I have no clue what it means, though.

Does it derive from zazzy? What does it stand for?

Or has Sheldon given the word a new meaning to discribe the characteristica of a cat such as fleeciness, confidingness etc...

What do you think?

Definition for zazzy: shiny or flashy.

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All such social traits manifest themselves on a continium so its very hard to decide where the line is crossed into such a category. At least Sheldon is trying to learn how to fit in socially (or at least used to in the early episodes). With him it seems to be just arrogance based on his intellligence and deciding not to bother to trying to fit-in as he was growing up

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Thing is, overall, Sheldon doesn't actually have any difficulties with social interaction, which is one of the main characteristics of AS. He's not always comfortable in social situations, but has no problem conversing with others, meeting new people etc. He has built new friendships as the seasons have progressed, but he does show signs of repeated behaviour etc. He has set meals for each day, and set activities for each night, etc. He could have AS, but in a mild form.

@Seph - Do you find AS affects you in any way, then? You don't feel that you have it because you find you 'function' as normal? Apologies if that comes across worse than I intended, no offense was meant.

Thing is, that describes me well - when I transferred to a new high school, I made friends the first day, and I'm still friends years after graduating. I'm also officially diagnosed with AS. In fact, I never had difficulty with figurative language or sarcasm, and my routines became really flexible by the age of 12, so Sheldon actually has more AS traits than I do.

OP: Are you a psychology major? Then you would be aware that as a "syndrome", autistic spectrum individuals do not all have the same traits. For some, sensory sensitivity can be severe enough to impair someone's ability to hold a job, even if they have excellent language skills, high intelligence, and only mild to moderate impairments in social interaction. Some can recognize faces very well but fail to interpret the social meaning, while others have extreme difficulty recognizing even family members. Some rock back and forth half the day, while others confine self-stimulatory behaviors to wiggling legs. Neologisms, while more prevalent among high-functioning autistics, are definitely not a requirement to qualify for the diagnosis, and I would imagine are still more prevalent among autistics who have language problems early in life, such as being late to speak. Many on the spectrum, however, had no such delays or difficulties as children and are extremely fluent in verbal skills, compared to normal.

So AS can look very different from person to person. It just so happens that Sheldon presents similarly to me (but with more AS traits). Technically, though, if someone is not impaired in functioning, they wouldn't qualify for the diagnosis regardless of how many traits they express. How one would define "impaired functioning" would influence who qualifies for a diagnosis, of course - does someone who is absolutely socially inept and displays many other autistic traits qualify for a diagnosis even if they're extremely successful in their career and emotional well-being, with no desire to improve their social skills or become more flexible in routines? I'd say no, and I think the DSM would agree with me, as the main point of a dx is to access services and treatments and you don't want to go into the territory of pathologizing variants of human behavior unnecessarily.

So on the basis of that technicality, perhaps he doesn't have AS, although he has gotten into some messy situations as a result of his socializing. I'm not sure exactly where the DSM draws the line, as certainly there are times when an individual is unaware of any impairment, but it is obvious they are being destructive to themselves or others, as in psychosis or suicidal depression, for instance.

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