For the Name's sake

I have a small-big problem. I don't remember names.

Small, because nobody punishes me for forgetting a name and moreover, people forget names all the time . Big, because unlike normal people, I don't forget names occasionally, instead I recall them occasionally. 

Which means, it doesn't matter if you met me four years ago or just introduced yourself four seconds ago, there's is a high chance that I don't remember your name. And, that I will avoid any talk which requires me to say your name, while I desperately ransack my brain to get it out. And since you, like many other people, always remember my name, more so in this millennium than the last, you'd presume that I remember yours too, which makes me even more paranoid most of the times. 

I am totally alright with faces and directions, mind you. Often slightly better than my peers at directions. But when it comes to forgetting, it's not just the names, I don't remember words too, which is a big reason for my awful vocabulary. And if you've read some of my posts, you would notice that whatever I write, whether it's a poem, a story or even a simple blog post, it's always made-up of pedestrian words and language. I never use fancy words, for the fact that I don't remember fancy words.

I often find myself looking up the thesaurus, searching for words I already know but not coming to my mind. This phenomenon, wikipedia tells me, is called Tip of the tongue and is pretty common. But what about all the names I always forget and words which are nowhere close to back of my tongue, let alone on the tip? Well, there is a severe problem called Anomia which is just like what I have, but I think it is way more severe than mine so I'll let it go.

Anyway, while I am searching for my small-big problem, I see a very helpful article, which says that apparently names are essentially an arbitrary and meaningless extension of us(in most cases). And, that if we don't repeat or link the name with the person in some way, we are most likely to forget it. Though, I feel a little relieved, that along with symptoms and diagnosis, I now know the cause too. But the treatment is still shaky.

While I talk about treatment, I think there are different treatments for different people. Different ways how people remember names. Some use nicknames, some write them, some simply memorize them without having to do anything special, while some link it to other things like looks, profession etc. Like I've had some people call me Saddam, and the first time I thought that I must look like someone whose name is Saddam. Then later I saw the link. Do you see it? No?. Well, 

Usama >> Osama >> America fighting a war with >> Saddam.

Yup, different people, different ways of remembering names. My treatment is, that I've started memorising full names instead of just the first name. And I've realised that I remember more names this way.

P.S. : Yesterday, I met a friend of a friend after many years. He remembered my name perfectly, and I just made up customised sentences until the other friend used his name after some five minutes. Pathetic me.

P.P.S. : How do you remember names? Is there a special way for you too or are you just a normal boring person who remembers all the names. 


  1. Hhaahhaha!!! Sorry, I guess it is a serious thing, but I so feel like laughing! Happens, happens. I'm like that as well, though maybe not this much. :P I kind of remembered... once I saw a familiar face on the metro station and she smiled at me, came forward, said hell and started talking. I knew she's in my college, but I couldn't even remember why I had talked to her on an earlier occasion, why I had talked, which course she belongs to, her name, nothing! And the funny thing? We boarded and we chatted (it was her, mostly, as I chose not to speak :P) and she talked so much about activities and all. I was just thankful when I had to de-board. :P

    So, you see. Happens. People forget things, it's okay! :P

    PS- Thank God you'd remember my name, as it'll be stuck with this comment. The full name! ;)

    1. oops! It's not hell, it's hello :P

      (adding randomly: A friend of mine sent an e-mail to a teacher with the assignment and typed "hell ma'am" :P)

    2. Well (s)he should have also attached 'what the' too. I wonder what would've happened then. :P
      And no, it's not that serious, you can have a laugh al-right. :D

    3. Well, that teacher is so lazy! My friend admitted to her after the class that she sent that by mistake and she was like, 'Oh.. I didn't check your mail. It's okay' :P

  2. It happens all the time! It is like: "I have seen him/her somewhere and I think perhaps I know him/her!" and then I end up concluding myself as one of the major sufferers of DejaVu. :/

    Recently, I bumped into a guy who seemed familiar to me and I guess, I also seemed familiar to him. We talked for sometime and it not until we exchanged numbers and were to save in our mobiles, that we exchanged names. And strangely, I did not remember interacting with anyone of his name!

    By the way, I hope you remember my name: Leo! :P

  3. Haha... he must be stalking you. ;) I'll remember your name Leo, though it would have been easier if you had a surname too. :P :D

    Thanks for commenting. :)

  4. Thank God I'm not the only one with this problem!!
    I often have people say hi and ask me how I am, when I roam around university. I rarely recall their faces and if I do, I'd have a tough time recalling their names! If I know them by face, I still doubt I'd know their name. Thank God we have a strict rule about wearing ID cards. I'd act like I'm casually looking at it and finally read their full name out, so that they don't realize that I don't remember their name! Cheap I know :D

    1. Hahaha... that's really clever. :D Though your secret is no longer a secret. :P

      Sorry, I don't know how but I totally missed this comment. Just read it. Thanks for reading Abinaya. God bless. :D


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