Imagine you're ordering a meal. Or writing the sweetest text to your crush. Or even making the perfect presentation to your colleagues. Suddenly the words simply stop... coming. Or worse, you start spitting random jibberish that makes absolutely no sense. Brain farts are real, ladies and gentlemen. But the good news is that you aren't the only one who's dropping these stink bombs. Continue scrolling and check out some of the funniest struggles people have had with the English language, so that the next time you release a gassy wind of iuhgkfhregwlrh you can remember that it happens to the best of us.
Interestingly, there's a scientific term for what we like to call a "brain fart." Whenever you're having one, you're experiencing tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) syndrome, from the phrase "it's on the tip of my tongue." And while there is no universally accepted cause, there are some scientific theories that try to explain it.
The first one to describe the TOT phenomenon was psychologist William James. "A sort of wraith of the name is in it, beckoning us in a given direction, making us at moments tingle with the sense of our closeness and then letting us sink back without the longed-for term," he wrote in his 1890 book Principles of Psychology.
However, no empirical research was done until 1966 when Harvard researchers Roger Brown and David McNeil published a paper in the Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior. They read definitions to people, and then asked them to remember the defined words. During the TOT state, these people could recall certain aspects of the word, and the closer they came to remembering it, the more accurate their associations became.
"The signs of it were unmistakable; he [the subject] would appear to be in mild torment, something like the brink of a sneeze, and if he found the word his relief was considerable. While searching for the target, [he] told us all the words that came to his mind. He volunteered the information that some of them resembled the target in sound but not in meaning; others he was sure were similar in meaning but not in sound."