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Doppleganger

doppleganger3By Scherryl Antoniadis

Like most people, I employ many of the communication methods that technology has now put at our fingertips; E-mail, Facebook and texting, to name just a few. But while I certainly appreciate the convenience these tools provide, I am beginning to worry that our increasing reliance on the shorthand that they have spawned (i.e., OMG, LOL, BTW) will ultimately result in the obsolescence of many of my favorite words in the English language.

For example . . . we all know that there isn’t much chance that like, awesome or basically or really?… will fade away any time soon (although, in my humble opinion, their over-use borders on the criminal). But when was the last time you read or heard the word doppelganger?

doppleganger4As I suspect it’s been a while, let’s refresh our memory…

Doppelganger is a noun of German origin. It literally means “double goer” or, in layman’s terms, a person who very closely resembles another but with no biological relation between the two.

doppleganger2It is also used to describe the sensation of having glimpsed yourself in your own peripheral vision with no chance of this supposed phenomenon being a reflection.

In contemporary vernacular, doppelganger is often used in a more general sense to identify any person who physically — or behaviorally — resembles another (in the latter case, think Madonna and Lady Gaga).

dopplegangerNow, I realize that it may not always be easy to work a word like doppelganger into your everyday conversations, and that you most certainly have many of your own favorites that you would like to see revived. But if you could occasionally manage to slip it in when you’re talking around the water cooler, it would be… like, awesome.

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