Reading Comprehenson – “Tip of the Tongue Syndrome”

Well, hey there!

So many people are still afraid of technology. They think it distances us, it makes it difficult for us to focus and substitutes human interaction.

But Clive Thompson, author of “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Betterargues the opposite: he says that technological tools now work in tandem with us and they are changing the way we remember and learn in a good way.

For example, he speaks of “tip of the tongue syndrome”. You know when you can’t quite remember the name of an actor or a song? You can almost visualize the word but it will not come from memory? That’s tip of tongue syndrome. Thompson says:

“Tip-of-the-tongue syndrome is an experience so common that cultures worldwide have a phrase for it. Cheyenne Indians call it navonotootse’a, which means “I have lost it on my tongue”; in Korean it’s hyeu kkedu-te mam-dol-da, which has an even more gorgeous translation: “sparkling at the end of my tongue.” The phenomenon generally lasts only a minute or so; your brain eventually makes the connection. But … when faced with a tip-of-the-tongue moment, many of us have begun to rely instead on the Internet to locate information on the fly. If lifelogging … stores “episodic,” or personal, memories, Internet search engines do the same for a different sort of memory: “semantic” memory, or factual knowledge about the world. When you visit Paris and have a wonderful time drinking champagne at a café, your personal experience is an episodic memory. Your ability to remember that Paris is a city and that champagne is an alcoholic beverage — that’s semantic memory.


What’s the line between our own, in-brain knowledge and the sea of information around us? Does it make us smarter when we can dip in so instantly? Or dumber with every search?”

This is what his book is all about: asking questions about how technology is complimenting our lives.

At ABA English we believe the age of the Internet is helping hundreds upon hundreds of people fulfill their dreams. For example, to learn English. Before you would have to spend a lot of money on a private tutor and take classes when it wasn’t convenient for you. Now, you can sign up to our course and study whenever you like!

We love the Internets. Do you?


tip_of_my_tongueDistances – to show that you are not involved with someone or something : to end a connection to or relationship with someone or something.

Argues – to give reasons for or against something : to say or write things in order to change someone’s opinion about what is true, what should be done, etc.

Tandem – working or happening together or at the same time.

Gorgeous – very beautiful or attractive. Also, very enjoyable or pleasant.

Sparkling – shining with or reflecting bright points of light.

Lasts – to continue in time.

On the fly – quickly and often without preparation.

Lifelogging – Lifeloggers typically wear computers in order to capture their entire lives, or large portions of their lives.

Semantic – of or relating to the meanings of words and phrases.

Beverage – something you can drink : a liquid for drinking.

Dip in – to read parts of (something) in a casual or brief way.

Dumber – more silly, more stupid.

Fulfill – to do what is required by (something, such as a promise or a contract).

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