Word of the Day: Echolalia
Well, I stumbled across the missing word today. It's echolalia. Echolalia can be a symptom of autism, as I was reminded today while doing research for an article on ASD (Austism Spectrum Disorders). It can be immediate, or delayed; communicative, or not.
It must be horribly frustrating to be the parent of an autistic child who parrots everything you say or everything that he hears on TV. But echolalia is used to brilliant effect by the immensely talented character actor, William Hickey, in the otherwise-forgettable comedy Forget Paris. Hickey plays Billy Crystal's father-in-law, who is pretty senile and lives with Crystal and his wife. The old man reads signs out loud whenever they take him anywhere in the car. It's almost the extent of his verbalizations. And around the house he's constantly muttering, "You want it, you got it...Toyota." Driving Crystal out of his mind, but, of course, to the audience it's hilarious.
I myself am not yet at the point of repeating television commercials. But maybe that's because I never watch television. Once in a while, I do catch myself reading signs out loud. Pretty scary! Now I wonder what that's called?