A friend once mentioned that some words begin to look strange when they are uttered in repetition. I too, have experienced that phenomenon not through utterance alone but also through contemplation. For instance, I hear a word and it echoes in my head, repeatedly, until it loses all vestiges of meaning. Recently, I learned the term for such phenomenon is jamais vu.
According to Wikipedia, a word has three characteristics: it has a form or a shape, which is a composite of sounds or characters (when written); it has a function, which is how the word operates in a meaningful sentence (i.e. as a noun); and it has a meaning, which is the concept the word represents.
When one repeats a word continuously, one is merely repeating its form. Initially, one is aware of the word’s function and meaning but without a sentence, the word loses its function. Without a sentence, there is also no context, and thus, the word loses its meaning.
In psychology, jamais vu is said to be the opposite of déjà vu. While déjà vu is the perception that a present event has already occurred in the past, jamais vu is the perception that a past event is happening for the first time. A common experience would be someone not recognizing a place or a person that is already known.
Jamais vu literally means “never seen” in French while déjà vu means “already seen”. A related term, presque vu, the “it’s -at-the-tip-of-my-tongue” phenomenon, translates as “almost seen”.