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Have you ever experienced a time when you have no idea what to say? A literal loss for words? I personally have gone through this experience especially during examinations, where I literally had a mental block and I was staring at my examination paper for minutes not knowing what to do.

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Well, I'm not sure if my experience is similar to your case, but there are instances where the word I wanted to express is already at the tip of my tongue but just can't seem to recall what it is, so I am left speechless for a few seconds, even minutes, until I remember the word or if the person I am speaking with already figured out what I'm trying to say. I think it is more of a problem with maintaining a sharp memory rather than an issue with lack of vocabulary knowledge or something.

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I experience this a lot when I'm intimidated or like you, around exam time. Sometimes I get annoyed at my own self for this because I think of what to say and then it comes out like garbage, it's so embarrassing. Like they say, some things sound better in your head than when you actually say it. When ever I have to write an essay for an exam, I usually make small jot notes and then start off like that, it usually helps a lot.

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It happens to the finest speakers and the most inspiring orators. Even Homer sometimes nods. This can be useful if we look at the bright side of things. Not much so during examination. When it happens, I usually say: how can I say? or gesticulate to articulate and use my body language. This normally generates a powerful reaction and a slew of words. Then, in place of 'loss' I have an abundance.

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Loss of words does happen to the best of us. Not only has it happen to me, I have also been embarrassed because of it. To be questioned by a little kid and find that the answer just isn't coming is actually a shameful thing :speechless:.

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Everyone does have this problem from time to time.  When children ask a question and it stuns you for a second, that can be a little embarrassing, but if this happens, I always say..."hmmmmm, what do YOU think?"  This gives me time to either pick my chin off the floor or come back to reality for a minute and thing of an answer for them.  No one needs to know that you are at a loss for words, just always have a good comeback or question for them while you are thinking of what to say.

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I'm not a talker personally so this happens to me all the time. A lot of people think that I'm just cold towards people but I'm not. Only people close to me know me well enough that I'm just like that. These days, I've been training myself so that I can get the flow going non stop by having filler responses while I think.

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Being a writer and a poet, I have to say, this happens to me all the time. I'll be sitting here, pencil in hand, paper on lap and I'll stay like that for hours just trying to come up with the next sentence. It makes me wonder if all writers have this problem...

It also happens during essays; actually, that's where it happens the most. Especially because during essays you're strapped for time and I think that just adds on to the stress of your writers' block.  :tongue:

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Well, I'm not sure if my experience is similar to your case, but there are instances where the word I wanted to express is already at the tip of my tongue but just can't seem to recall what it is, so I am left speechless for a few seconds, even minutes, until I remember the word or if the person I am speaking with already figured out what I'm trying to say. I think it is more of a problem with maintaining a sharp memory rather than an issue with lack of vocabulary knowledge or something.

Exactly. It's a memory issue and not one involving vocabulary or knowledge.

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Loss of words does happen to the best of us. Not only has it happen to me, I have also been embarrassed because of it. To be questioned by a little kid and find that the answer just isn't coming is actually a shameful thing :speechless:.

That's funny. Well I guess everyone experienced it for once in their lifetime.

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To add a little insight about this matter, I think it's got to do with how you want to express your ideas but just can't seem to come up with a good composition. You may already have an idea in mind, but you are trying to grasp for the right or appropriate words to express it. It's like you have a good story to tell but don't know where to start. 

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When I read the title, I too would have mentioned the "tip of the tongue" problem.  I studied psychology and there is actually something called TOT state (which means "tip of the tongue").  Apparently we sometimes draw something to our short term memory in preparation to speak and it somehow get jangled in the processing.  The best thing I have always heard is move on and don't try to force it out..and usually it does just come back when you are not trying to hard to remember.  If I recall it has something to do with the way our minds process and encode words.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I read the title, I too would have mentioned the "tip of the tongue" problem.  I studied psychology and there is actually something called TOT state (which means "tip of the tongue").  Apparently we sometimes draw something to our short term memory in preparation to speak and it somehow get jangled in the processing.  The best thing I have always heard is move on and don't try to force it out..and usually it does just come back when you are not trying to hard to remember.  If I recall it has something to do with the way our minds process and encode words.

Thank you for this information. Now that I think of it, is does make sense. Perhaps all of those times I lose my momentum and can't recall what I'm about to say is because of this state or the short term memory mix. ^_^

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When I read the title, I too would have mentioned the "tip of the tongue" problem.  I studied psychology and there is actually something called TOT state (which means "tip of the tongue").  Apparently we sometimes draw something to our short term memory in preparation to speak and it somehow get jangled in the processing.  The best thing I have always heard is move on and don't try to force it out..and usually it does just come back when you are not trying to hard to remember.  If I recall it has something to do with the way our minds process and encode words.

For me, it helped a lot to slow down in my speech, and stop focusing on what to say but rather just be natural, as if it's just like any other conversation.

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I also had a similar experience where I was at a loss for words because I was put on the spot or I was not expecting a certain type of conversation, like conversing with my crush, lol. I think that's quite normal though since anxiety also contributes to what we call as a "mental block".

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Unfortunately, yes. I've experienced a true loss for words several times...and more often just that feeling of having something on the tip of my tongue but very much unreachable in the moment. It bothers me because I'm fairly intelligent but I don't always think in a way that's very conducive to communicating in words.

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