How Exactly is "Normal" defined?

@Jackalyn (6655)
Oxford, England
August 12, 2015 6:33am CST
I am having a bit of fun here and there (though I stress, not with a copied post,) asking people to define "normal." What is being "Normal?" Is anyone in the whole world "Normal?" Where do you draw the line between being "normal" and being mentally not "normal?" Can you be considered "normal" if you believe in things or see things others do not? Is it impossible to define "normal" What is "normal" for you and if you rub along in society with your concept of it, does it matter?
5 people like this
5 responses
@1wldngl (3991)
• United States
13 Aug 15
Normal is a relative term and most of my relatives aren't! I think that we all have our own definition of Normal and that variations would fill every book on every shelf in every library. Remember back in the 80's when we used to wear pins on our clothes? I had a Garfield pin that said, "why be Normal". I always loved that pin and always felt that Normal was a boring thing to me. I prefer eccentric, unique, unusual, out of the norm, and in fact I strive for those.
2 people like this
@Jackalyn (6655)
• Oxford, England
13 Aug 15
I come from a family of eccentrics. I know what you mean about the relatives! I think I might agree with Garfield.
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@GardenGerty (99351)
• United States
12 Aug 15
Lately I read that "normal" is just a setting on the washing machine. I am not sure what normal is for me but I try to leave room in my mind for many people to be normal in their own way.
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@Jackalyn (6655)
• Oxford, England
13 Aug 15
Lol. Normal is a setting I rarely use on my machine. I like your approach to people.
1 person likes this
@bagarad (12164)
• Paso Robles, California
13 Aug 15
Over 50 years ago I was forced to take a graduate course about statistics, and if I remember correctly (and I probably don't) "normal" is according to the norm. It's a term of measurement, derived with charts and graphs. It's a bit like "average." What's normal depends upon what is being measured. Outside of statistics, it's what is typical, what usually happens. Whether being abnormal is good or bad depends upon what side of the norm you are on and what is being measured.
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@Jackalyn (6655)
• Oxford, England
14 Aug 15
But then again, as I learned on the statistics course I failed, meaning I had to cross being a psychiatrist off my list of career choices as it led to the rest of a psychology degree, statistics can be manipulated. How therefore can we ever trust that the norm is normal?
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@bagarad (12164)
• Paso Robles, California
14 Aug 15
@Jackalyn You can't There's really no absolute normal.
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@allknowing (65134)
• India
13 Aug 15
It has countless definitions according to me - every situation is defined differently. I will give you one example. In the good old days the seasons were marked but not any more. I would therefore say it is not normal to have unmarked seasons like this
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@Jackalyn (6655)
• Oxford, England
14 Aug 15
Yes that is true. I wonder. Did we ever really have normal seasons?
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@owlwings (39230)
• Cambridge, England
12 Aug 15
If you've ever been to Bristol, you'll maybe know that "Normal" is just a girl's name there and has been for ever and a day. Even the city's name has an 'L' tacked on to it because "tha's jus' the way we do talk in Bristle, see? So dur de bist!" (FACT: It was originally 'Brigstow' = 'place by the bridge'). Why people from that city don't feel that words that end in 'o' or 'a' are 'complete', nobody seems to know. However the 'status quoll' there seems to think that if you pronounce their motto as 'Virtu-te et ind-us-tri-ah' you are a foreigner. What's normal in one place is abnormal in another!.
@GardenGerty (99351)
• United States
12 Aug 15
@owlwings I learn so many things from reading your comments. I can imagine how that particular accent would sound. Could be like the people here from Massachusetts who talk about places such as Cuber. Normal for them, I guess.
2 people like this
@Jackalyn (6655)
• Oxford, England
13 Aug 15
Ah but I live near Oxford. That is where we are so correct we have a dictionary to prove it. I really must ask my son about this as he was in Bristol this weekend. I lived in Yorkshire for a bit and they speak funny there too. They call cakes " buns." I got very confused at a job I had in a bakery, especially as the said " boons" and I had to run for a " boos" and " mash the tea." Most odd!
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@allknowing (65134)
• India
13 Aug 15
@GardenGerty You can say that again. So thorough in his replies and comments. I marvel at his patience. I just removed my hat for @Owlwings
3 people like this