Baader-Meinhof phenomenon


Last month, I wrote about all the coincidences that seem to happen in the books I read.  My coworker Mark, who also proofreads everything I write, pointed out that there is a name for this.  It’s known as the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.  Since we work in a language school, when he first said it I thought he was speaking another language.  But no, this is what it’s really called. 


According to, “Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one happens upon some obscure piece of information– often an unfamiliar word or name– and soon afterwards encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly.”  Basically, it explains that our brains like patterns, and therefore, we tend to notice words and phrases that come up again and again when they fit certain sequences. 


However, I’m still not sure this explains some of the coincidences I come across while reading.  For example, when I mentioned the main characters in both books have the name Xander.  That’s still weird to me. 


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