BG 190 – On the tip of my tongue

Marc and I like to watch quizzes on television.
For example on the Dutch TV Twee Voor Twaalf and De Slimste Mens and on the English BBC Eggheads  and Mastermind.
And we also like to join in on the couch at home.
We are both interested in a lot of things, but unfortunately we don’t have such a good memory. So if you could observe us watching a quiz, we’d seem unintentionally hilarious.

For example, a question is asked about a certain historical treaty.
Then one of us says:
‘Oh yes, uh…, wait! I just read about that last week!
Uh…, what’s it called again?’
Or: ‘Oh yes, I just saw a documentary about that two days ago!’
Or: ‘Yes, yes, I learned that in school! Uh…?’
Or, ‘I read this on the internet the other day! Uh… Come on! I know this!
Uh… But not right now…’
Meanwhile, the time in which the answer had to be given has already passed.

And on a next question, about a movie star for example – Marc in particular watches a lot of films, I am more of a book reader – Marc says:
‘Oh yes yes yes! Uh… come on! That tall man with the broad shoulders and the dark hair! With those piercing eyes!
Uh… He also starred in that other movie, the one from last year, uh…, that was a sequel to the good one we watched together. Do you remember? The one with that crime syndicate!
And…, with that tall blonde co-star, what’s her name again?
Uh…, the one with those blue eyes and that special voice! She was in the news recently. Because, uh…, yes, why again?
Oh yes, uh…, wait…, no, nope. Yes, wait!
He was also in that movie I saw a few months ago… remember?’
‘No, I can’t, I haven’t seen it.’
‘Yes, but… it was called The thingamajig town of uh… thingamajig, or something.’

And then me, on a question about a writer:
‘Oh yes yes yes, I read that book! It’s even on our bookshelf!
Uh…, what’s that man’s name again?
His last name has two syllables! And starts with a B! But uh…?
I can’t figure it out…, uh, come on!’

Another question, about a chemical element:
‘Oh yes, I know that! That’s tin! No…, wait…, no, it’s aluminum!
Or no…, nope, come on, that other…!”
Too late. ‘Argh!’

Or the answer comes to one of us just after the candidate on TV has already mentioned it.
‘Yes, that is it! I knew that too! But uh… not fast enough…’
Or: ‘Oh, that flag, yes…, I know that! It’s from…, from Equa…, no, wait, it’s from Boli…’ Candidate on TV: Bolivia. ‘That’s right, Bolivia! I knew that!’

Occasionally we give the correct answer in time, before a candidate does on TV. And that makes us very proud for a moment. Hurrah! But most of the time the answer stays on the tip of our tongue. Even if we complement each other.
It’s quite busy on the tips of our tongues.

Our favorite quiz is the BBC’s Eggheads, of which unfortunately no new episodes have been made for years. It is multiple choice, so the correct answer is shown, together with two other answers. And if you actually know an answer, but you can’t come up with it so fast, then that is of course ideal. You just have to read it out loud. So watching Eggheads makes us feel smarter, even though we still don’t know enough to successfully participate in the recording studio.

Bad memory does have the advantage that we can endlessly watch repetitions of quizzes. We have long since forgotten the correct answers anyway.

Our Swiss cheese memory and our frustration about it do not prevent us from still enjoying watching and participating in quizzes on television from our couch.

Because I can’t remember these words either, I looked them up for you:
– Lethologica = the inability to recall the word you are looking for (the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon).
– Lethonomia = the inability to remember the correct name.