We have all been in a situation where we could not remember any word, although the answer was literally spun on the tongue, but did not come to mind. As a result, we wondered about this question so much that we forgot about everything else. This is what is called the phenomenon “on the tip of the tongue” and is denoted by the term “presque vu” (French presque vu - almost seen), which was created by analogy with the terms deja vu and jamevu.
It consists in the inability to remember something well known. A certain amount of information about a given word pops up in a person's head and is literally about to remember it, but this does not happen, which makes it difficult to think at this moment. This condition is usually very painful and can spoil the mood for a long time. It was first described by psychologist William James in Principles of Psychology in 1890.
Interestingly, most often it seems to us that a forgotten word has something to do with a certain area or begins with a specific letter. Which often turns out to be untrue.
Scientists have found that the frequency of occurrence of the phenomenon "spinning on the tip of the tongue" has no clear relationship with the onset of dementia. This is just a slight closure of memory, which is an illustration of the fact that the meaning of a word can temporarily exist in consciousness without its sign form.
How to remember the word spinning on the tip of the tongue
- Relax and think of something else. The shifted attention will help to stop the pressure on memory (or speech) and the word will be remembered by itself.
- List all letters alphabetically. It is quite possible that you can remember the first letter of the forgotten word and reproduce the whole.
- Asking yourself clarifying questions. It is necessary to reach a certain association that will allow you to remember the word with which it is associated.
And most importantly, do not try to strain trying to remember the right word. The more you push yourself, the less likely you are to bring the word to the surface.