It’s on the Tip of My Tongue

It's on the Tip of My Tongue

“It is just…” “What?” Everybody may have this similar experience. You are sure that you know the answer of a question, but you just cannot transform what you think to the words. Next time you are caught in this situation, you should know that this is just a psychological phenomenon named tip of the tongue:

Tip of the tongue (TOT or Presque vu, from the French for “almost seen”) phenomenon is the failure to retrieve a word from memory, combined with partial recall and the feeling that retrieval is imminent. The phenomenon’s name comes from the saying, “It’s on the tip of my tongue.”…

This phenomenon is common in the normal life. For example, when you are taking a test and you know the answer of the question, but you just fail to write the answer out with words. You also may have another similar experience. When you recognize your childhood friend in the crowd and plan to say Hello, you may find that you just cannot call out his or her name.

I just come across the term of tip of the tongue by accident when I check my Google Reader.

There are a few scientific explanations on this psychological phenomenon. In addition, there are many factors that could lead to tip of the tongue. Because now I am learning English, I am surprised to find that bilingualism can also increase the occurrence possibility of tip of the tongue. The explanation is that when you express your idea, bilingualism can lead to two different expressing forms, which may stop your ideas from transforming into words.

At last, when you encounter the tip of the tongue next time, it is unnecessary to worry about it. People at different ages, no matter men or women, the differences on the degree, all have the potential to suffer from tip of the tongue. You can completely ignore the tip of the tongue completely if it just happens on you occasionally.

As of the ways to overcome the tip of the tongue, because we cannot predict when it happens, there are no specific ways to overcome it. I think keeping happy and doing some excises always work.


6 thoughts on “It’s on the Tip of My Tongue

  1. The older I get, the more things get stuck on the tip of my tongue! I find that if I can put the darned escaped thought out of my mind, it often pops into my head–usually at the most inconvenient times (like in the middle of the night).

    • Yes, we never know what thought would come to our mind.

      Thanks for your visiting and I like your reply written in native and authentic English. I am learning English and have learned expressions from your reply.

  2. Lately I have been having problems with remembering names of people. Strangely I remember the first letter of their first name very well, but need time to recall the name. Of course, I get the names sometime later.

  3. Pingback: “It’s at the tip of my tongue!”

  4. Pingback: Elena Lately » “It’s at the tip of my tongue!”

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