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absence of mind

I object to absence of mind being in The New Penguin English Dictionary (1986), the dictionary I’m using for this project, or any other dictionary for that matter. There are a couple of reasons for my objection.

First, nobody really ever has an absence of mind. I’m not a neuroscientist, but my understanding is that, whether consciously or unconsciously, our minds control pretty well everything that our bodies do, including, among other important functions, the autonomic tasks of breathing and the beating of our hearts. If I’m right about that, then if our minds are truly absent we’ve got no more than a few minutes to live. In that case, the last thing you should be worrying about is the definition of absence of mind.

My second objection is not against the phrase or its definition, but rather a plea for fairness. There are plenty of phrases, including those that could be considered idioms, that might not mean exactly what you would infer from the words in them when those words are considered individually, but they aren’t all listed in the dictionary. So why is absence of mind hear?

It’s favoritism, I tell you. It’s a conspiracy by absentminded (a word that will make an appearance four words from here) dictionary writers and editors who want to put themselves and their natures ahead of the rest of us. A conspiracy plain and simple. That’s all it is.

Remember, you heard it hear first. Just don’t tell anyone that you heard it hear first because enough people already think I’m an idiot.

Oh, I almost forgot to say what absence of mind means because I was too busy thinking about something I’ll be doing next week. Absence of mind is the state of not paying attention to your current surroundings or the events that are happening around you.

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