So what do some of the terms mean in the world of paranormal? Well we can actually start with the word 'paranormal'...
What does the term 'paranormal' actually mean?
The prefix 'Para' comes from the Greek meaning and has the following explanations:-
- "at or to one side of, beside, side by side"
- "beyond, past, by"
Therefore it is a valid response to believe that the term 'paranormal' could be misinterpreted as it can mean two different things. Similar to any words that have 'in' as a prefix (from Old English) that generally makes the following words mean the opposite:-
- Correct - Incorrect
- Sane - Insane
- Proper - Inproper
- Soluable - Insoluable
- Voluntary - Involuntary
The difference to this is the word 'flammable'... as 'inflammable' means the exact same thing! 'Non-flammable' is the opposite of both!
Also look at 'side' and 'inside'... opposite of inside would be 'outside'. 'Offside' and 'onside' are other words to explain opposing meanings.
Normal can be prefixed by 'para', 'ab' and 'sub'. One would think they appear to mean the same thing... but they don't as they have different meanings.
So it is clear that certain meanings can be confusing...
So what of ASSAP*?
Although we are not members, the 'Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena' is a renowned group that some paranormal groups belong to in membership. They have actually taken the time to come up with a valid clear and concise name... and apart from the 'Scientific Study' and 'Phenomena' part, the word 'Anomalous' means:-
"deviating from what is standard, normal or expected"
This seems to be clear on the meaning with no other meanings to confuse matters. In other words if you saw a person walking towards a door they should instinctively open said door to walk through the doorway. This would be considered normal. But if you saw a person walking towards a door who then disappeared through it... then that would be an anomalous event.
Please check out ASSAP for further information.