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Stoddart, W.H. (1929). A Pun Symptom. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 10:97.

(1929). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10:97

A Pun Symptom

W. H.B. Stoddart

An obsessional manic-depressive, who had been under psycho-analysis for eighteen months, happened to be working through her oral phase. She was liable to attacks of sickness, as on previous occasions during the analysis when oral associations had cropped up—also, by the way, to a more serious manifestation, viz. the desire and threat to take poison.

About this time she was beginning to study French. Pronunciation was naturally the topic of the first few lessons, and she discovered that any attempt to pronounce the French 'u' made her feel sick, and on one occasion she actually vomited. On inquiry the only word with this sound in it that occurred to her mind was parapluie.

The symptom remained unexplained until an occasion when she was passing a tube station on top of a bus and noticed the word

'U

N

D

E

R

G

R

O

U

N

D'.

I do not know whether the 'U' was longer than usual, but it was remindful of a French letter (in two senses). It is needless to labour the condensation—the symptom has gone.

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