Why do words look or sound weird if we write or say them repeatedly?
The name for this psychological phenomenon is semantic satiation, and it’s caused by a type of fatigue called reactive inhibition. When a brain cell fires, it takes more energy to fire a second, third and fourth time. Therefore, the more you say or read a word, the more energy it takes for your brain to recall its meaning. Eventually, it will start resisting thinking of a meaning altogether. This effect is reduced with words that are strongly connected to emotions or have dramatic connotations, such as ‘explosion’, as the brain can associate them with a different meaning at each repetition.