30 jul. 2007

Questions on "earworm."

Do you have it with poetry, or just with music?

Is it invariably with *bad* music? (For me it is not; I am as likely to get it with very good music as with bad.)

How long does it last? Was there a time of your life you had it more (or less?)

Earworm, for the purposes of these questions, is the involuntary and repetitive occurence of a phrase of music or language in one's mind. It is usually regarded as highly annoying, although I've come to accept it as just a fact of my neurology.

I often have music playing in my head that I will then notice. I don't define it as earworm until it becomes repetitive. Similarly, I often have phrases of poetry pop into my head, but they are not earworm until they reach a critical mass of repetitiveness. Most recently, it was "Two small people, without dislike or suspicion."

5 comentarios:

Emily Lloyd dijo...

I get it far more frequently with poetry than with music. Frequent recurrers are Stein's "Little sales ladies little sales ladies little saddles of mutton. Little sales ladies little sales ladies and such beautiful beautiful beautiful beautiful" and Hopkins' "Generations have trod, have trod, have trod."

shanna dijo...

i go from one stuck phrase to another, pretty much without relief. i have never heard it called earworm though. i didn't know if it had a name. a kind of mild sotto voce echolalia.

often it's a song lyric, or a line from a poem, a commercial jingle, anything at all catchy gets, um, caught. it's mostly "verbal" but not always-melodies sans words or just other rhythmic snatches or noises also get stuck. one particularly sticky habit is the spelling out of words, which i think i started as a kid maybe mnemonically, words that are tricky to spell, particularly "fuchsia," which i hear as "eff-you-see-aich-ess-eye-ay" over and over ad nauseum whenever i see it printed anywhere.

it's kind of like the tinnitis though. you learn to tune it out, even though you know it's going on back there. it keeps me from meditating successfully, and also has woken me up at night.

Joseph Duemer dijo...

Comes & goes. More when I'm stressed. Usually a song lyric & usually a good or telling phrase from the lyric.

gina dijo...

I also get poetry earworms, but only from Joseph Lease's work. Seriously.

Ray Davis dijo...

For me, like Shanna, it's a constant. It's the only reason I write -- for some reason, getting it "outside my head" works both ways.