Think ‘…? ‘, the warning signs of academentia…


What is academentia?

Why have you never heard of it?

Why is there not a fund for it and its dreadful consequences (beyond the USS pension scheme)?

What are the warning signs, and can you combat it?

Is it even real? (Urban dictionary says yes, and there’s a band called Academentia, and we need an excuse for all the things we forget – so yes, it’s real).


Symptoms and Aetiology Include
(this is by no means an exclusive list as we’ve forgotten most of it – we welcome suggestions for further symptoms/cures!)

– Do you forget important things that normal people remember?

– Friends birthdays?
– Where you have left anything of importance (keys/wallet/phone/glasses/social life)?
– What your point was in this sentence/conversation/argument/debate/bullet-pointed-list-on-your-blog.

-Do you find doing normal things to be very hard, but doing abnormal things to be easy?

– Does a train booking website lead you to tears, when you find the National Archives Catalogue a thrill and delight?
– Does  paying an electricity bill online take more time than paying by cheque in the post/by carrier pigeon?
– Do you find it very difficult to read any non-fiction text (for instance this post) without footnotes or other references? (Butler: 2014: p. 4.)

– Have you read this website?

-If you’ve now decided that Poirot is relevant to your research when you “work from home”, that’s not good news.

-Do you find it impossible to make simple decisions without referring to a committee of peers?

– This includes things like food shopping, how best to store 5,000 photographs, booking any kind of conveyance, and whether to beg, steal or borrow books.

– Do you find it difficult to believe that things exist unless they’re written down?

– Usually on a post-it note languishing under your desk.
– To be honest, even if it’s in plain view that’s no guarantee that you’ll remember to look at it.~
– Do you save everything on your computer a minimum of two times?

– Are you a really bad friend to your (especially non-academic) friends?

– This includes: forgetting birthdays, taking weeks to respond to emails, seeing them less than once a year (unless they live near an archive), forgetting to thank them for letting you live on their sofa (because you’re visiting an archive), seeing them for only two hours in a day (because the archive is open late on Thursdays), kicking them off their own sofa so you can sleep (because you’ve spent 9 hours in an archive), conversing with them only in terms of what you’ve most recently found in the archive you’ve just returned from (because you can’t remember anything else you’ve ever done)…. This list is illustrative, not definitive.

-Do you find it impossible to survive without caffeine?

-Warning signs include: thinking three or more shots of espresso in one cup is appropriate, purchasing a coffee machine for the office, and buying coffee beans/tea in bulk because it’s more cost-effective (and having done a cost analysis to prove this).

– Do you imitate those who you write about?

– This includes over-hyphenation of words (such as to-day, and may-be), the excessive use of commas and semi-colons; capitalisation of Nouns (taken from German language study), and the excessive use of italics for words which have been in common usage for at least the past decade.
– Do you listen to the music/watch the films they would have done?

– Can you easily spend a day/tens of (hundreds of) pounds in a stationery shop?

– You might be able to convince yourself that they’re gifts for other people – but we know the truth.

– Do you find any ‘historical’ drama (etc.) annoying for small things?

– Like the food they eat, and the fact that you can see people’s contact lenses (thanks for ruining Merlin HDTV)?

– Do you find filling out basic forms really difficult?

– Things like expenses forms?
– But are you able to make (and enjoy making) really beautiful/complex forms?
– Do you then wonder why no one fills them out?

– Are you able to coherently discuss only one topic when drunk?

– If this is your research topic, then we’re afraid that it’s terminal.




Post by Jia-Ou, Hannah , and Stuart with valuable input from the rest of the office.

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One thought on “Think ‘…? ‘, the warning signs of academentia…

  1. […] and you’re skint, eat your sandwich first, then feign forgetting said lunch was happening (blame academentia) and just get a soft drink (or see […]

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