We’ve all had our mind go blank in the middle of a conversation. Suddenly, it’s impossible to pull up the word for a thing, place, or person. We gesture with our hands and feel like we’re on the verge of remembering—but the word just won’t appear.
It’s a predicament language researchers dub the “tip of the tongue” state.
These and other speech errors are tough for researchers to document and analyze because they can’t be replicated easily in a lab setting.
Now, there’s an online tool (registration required) allowing everyday people to engage in “citizen science” by recording speech errors. Its creators hope to crowdsource the most complete database of speech errors ever created and forge new insight into the acquisition, production, and perception of language. […]
Researchers hope users will enter their own and others’ experiences of tip-of-the-tongue states, as well as slips of the tongue, slips of the ear (where people misperceive words), and malapropisms. A description of the website appears in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
Discussion of malapropisms and mondegreens at the link. Thanks, Paul!