Welcome back to Foible Monday!
This one is about a thing I call my “speech impeddlement,” because certain words seem to jump on a bicycle and pedal away whenever I go looking for them. I’ll catch them yet . . . then they’ll be sorry. Oddly, it only seems to happen when I’m speaking–not when I’m writing.
Apparently my fingers are smarter than my mouth (big surprise there . . . not).
Most of my friends already know about this. They laugh and laugh and laugh. Okay, maybe I just imagine they do on the inside. I admit it is pretty weird. I don’t want to talk about it . . . so I’ll type it instead. It’s safer that way . . .
Word Finding D— … uhm
If most human brains resemble a glob of overcooked spaghetti left to drain too long, then mine more resembles swiss cheese: it has big round holes in it that words fall into. There aren’t that many holes, though I’ve never tried to count, but there’s no telling which words will trip and fall into them.
The first holed-word I remember not remembering is “backhoe”. I know right? It’s not like this is a word I use often in daily life, but when I saw one parked in my neighborhood one day, all I could tell you was that it was a big yellow hole digging machine that began with a “B”.
This is another weird side-effect of this phenomenon: I can almost always tell you the first letter and a nice definition of the lost word but, for the life of me, I cannot tell you the word itself.
In programmer-ese: It’s an indexing problem.
The latest victim seems to be “passport.” I only know this from a curious teenaged member of my family–at the time–who periodically quizzed me on the green and blue bird with the amazing tail feathers that begins with a “P”, or the place where they put dead bodies that begins with a “G”, or the sparkly round things sewn on dresses that begin with an “S” … or that thing you need to cross an international border that begins with a “P”, which apparently I have already forgotten.
All this good-natured quizzing actually helped pull an abused word or three out of its hole into the light of day. I can remember that big yellow machine now, sometimes. But I’ve found as soon as I help one distressed word out of its hole, some other poor hapless word will fall into it.
If only my brain holes kept themselves to my speech centers. Occasionally an entire memory falls victim to this indexing problem, as well. Take a common, ordinary occurrence we both partook in the other day, such as meeting an interesting person at a local park. A few days later you may wax poetically about this chance meeting and notice my brow furrowing. You’ve caught me attempting to query my index.
Another memory has gone AWOL.
But if you happen to mention the strange rutabaga earrings she was wearing that day—bing, flop, “index match complete,” bonk, ping!—suddenly it all comes flowing back in HD Technicolor with special features and deleted scenes!
Don’t ask me to explain it, as if it made any sense to me; especially since I’d probably lose a word or two in the process. I’m not terribly motivated to try to fix it anyway, because it keeps my friends amused.