The question: “What is the difference between normal, abnormal and paranormal? is just waiting to be answered. Has been on my mind for a couple of years now. Not all the time, but now and again when things happened in my life. This is my answer just for today.
I first looked at the etymological meaning. A normal thing to do.
1650, “standing at a right angle,” from L.L. normalis “in conformity with rule, normal,” from L. normalis “made according to a carpenter’s square,” from norma “rule, pattern,” lit. “carpenter’s square” (see norm). Meaning “conforming to common standards, usual” is from 1828. Online Etymology Dictionary – Normal
Hmm, interesting the word normal only came into existence around the year 1650. Were regulations coming more into fashion so that the norm became more to the front then before?
How about abnormal?
1835, replaced older anormal and abnormous (1742) under infl. of L. abnormis “deviating from a rule,” from ab- “off, away from” + norma “rule” (see norm). The older forms were via O.Fr. anormal (13c.), from M.L. anormalos, from Gk. anomalos, from an- “not” + homalos, from homos “same.” The Gk. word influenced in L. by association with norma. Online Etymology Dictionary -Abnormal
I definitely like abnormal much better. Especially the not-being-the-same-part of the explanation. It is almost an old fashioned way to say that we are all individual.
Paranormal is the last:
1930, from para- (q.v.) + normal.
Online Etymology Dictionary -Paranormal
This is not enough to satisfy me, another source is wordwebonline. Normal is conforming with or constituting a norm or standard. Abnormal is not normal, regular or conforming to a norm. It can also be much greater than the normal! Paranormal is not in accordance with scientific laws.
What it comes down to is that normal is the usual, abnormal is beyond the usual and paranormal is way beyond the usual. I would not want to be normal and conform with the norm. I understand that you need to buy a ticket to ride on the bus, but there is so much more that does not need to be conform or follow the rules and regulations or scientific standards. How about being open for other possibilities? For things that are not scientifically approved? I am.
I am interested, to say the least, in the myriad of possibilities that opens up when leaving behind the regulations and the scientific standards. At the risk of being seen as abnormal that is.