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From: Ken Dombey, M.D.: [e-mail him]
As a wordsmith, I thought you would find this interesting.
There is a described psychological condition called amnesic fugue/amnestic fugue that refers to a dissociative state often preceded by head trauma and then subsequent amnesia.
When teaching medical students and residents, I would occasionally ask when someone used "amnestic fugue", "What does amnesty have to do with this?"
My remark usually caused some sort of insecure fumbling for different words from the pitiful sleep-deprived soul.
I think there is now a second usage of "amnestic fugue"—when a representative government body or Congressional member habitually introduces legislation that is plainly amnesty but is euphemistically called something else…earned legalization, for example.
There is a dissociative component to this phenomenon in that the Senate hopes the public will embrace each new plan it proposes even though Americans are against amnesty in any form.