It wasn’t kind of me to describe an episode when five people failed to retrieve the simple word “marinate” from the recesses of our brains, not without offering some help.
So I googled around and here is a summary of tips for overcoming that disturbing tip-of-the-tongue experience. There’s a wonderful word for this. Remember? (I’m joking.) It’s lethologica.
No guarantees that any of these tips will work! I have no idea which ones will be effective for you—but personally, I’m going to try drawing next time.
- Keep talking, don’t pause.
- Find a synonym.
- Let it marinate!
- After you find the word, examine it and draw it. Then use it in conversation or emails to reinforce it.
- Make sure you’re sleeping well.
- Give up. Don’t struggle to find the word: it’s counterproductive.
- When you find the word, repeat it to yourself, silently or aloud.
Other psychologists and speech therapists have found that drawing is a useful tool to help people with chronic aphasia. Well, chronic aphasia is a condition far beyond the universal tip-of-the-tongue moment—but next time, I’ll try it.
Stress and tiredness increase the chances of a tip-of-the-tongue moment: have you noticed that? Interestingly, the 5-person failure to retrieve the word “marinate” which I described in the previous post happened after some of us were recovering from a weekend of dance performances. So three of us can blame our tip-of-the-tongue moments on exhaustion 🙂
Good luck! No stress, remember. Everyone forgets words, but only older people let it stress them out.