Suivre France

I have an ability to sometimes read what isn’t there - the name of this site is always Suivre France when I read it. Does anyone else read it like that?

Oh the fun or learning another language. :smiley:

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I have a different sort of problem with words, and names – since my 30s. Had to invent a prompt word ‘ostrich’ to remind me of the first word I couldn’t bring to mind and say, which was ‘osteopath’.

In my early 50s here in France the second word I couldn’t bring to mind and say was the French word for badger – ‘blaireau’. That was easy – my prompt for that was Tony Blair, because he used to live a few houses up from me when he was the Labour leader, before I came to France. Whenever I think of badgers now I also think of him!

I have a lot of prompt words and names, and the list grows! Keeps the brain ticking over!


I frequently forget words, but having a ‘prompt’ word doesn’t usually help because I don’t remember that either!

However I do enjoy playing with words, probably a result of my father not being English and therefore finding much amusement from his second langauge. Spoonerisms are a lot of fun, though a little care needs to be exercised. It’s also tempting to change the words of songs as required for humour.

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I could never remember the name of my bank manager … his name was actually Bramley so I used “apple” as a reminder but I didn’t always get it right… :roll_eyes: he had a rosy complexion so I sometimes called him Mr Cox… :rofl:

My brain doesn’t handle names of people or places… it simply loses them… been like that since childhood/schooldays.


Found out that there was a name for my memory problem which is similar to yours regarding names and places. Can be caused by a blow to the head, which I had when 13 - knocked down on a zebra crossing by a silent trolleybus! That’s my excuse. There are other reasons, which I forget because it’s of no consequence, to me. Must look that word up again.

I don’t find it life changing but interesting and at the same time perplexing.

Just had to upload Stanley Unwin – Unwinism? Only because it’s about words and understanding them. Kenneth Williams is there to translate….

ps…saw a video many years ago, demonstrating a woman’s similar memory problem. She was in her 40s I think. She and a doctor were standing behind a table which had multiple items of ordinary kitchen equipment laid out. Kettle, saucepan, cups and saucers – you name it. The doctor explained that she knew what everything is used for but couldn’t tell you what they were called. She didn’t seem at all worried and was smiling and looking amused by it all.

Mine started so early in life… that I was presumably dropped on my head as a baby… :rofl:

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, at school I was the only pupil let off Geography… they obviously recognized the hopelessness of the situation…

funnily enough, I can describe (and see in my head) the many restaurants we’ve discovered in France and elsewhere over the decades… but I can’t name them nor their location… OH has to provide the missing details.

I’m not sure forgetting ordinary names is a ‘condition’ as such, other than increasing maturity. :wink: However I did chuck a bike down the road aged 18, waking up in hospital with a punctured lung & concussion. Our son had a nasty mountain bike accident involving concussion, and is only starting to re-remember his childhood now that he’s in his 30s - before that it was apparently all gone.

I’m like you! I use images in my head all the time. If I can’t find my keys I go through a visual search in my mind to find them.

There’s forgetting and there’s not knowing in the first place.

OH has problems with english words for tools or other practical things in which she has not the slightest interest normally - and I suspect she doesn’t know their names in her first language (Afrikaans).

The other day she asked me where the screwdrivers were kept and then returned to say they weren’t were I’d said. Went and looked and yes, the screwdrivers were still there. Then we have question and answer session - "You didn’t really want a screwdriver, what are you trying to do? “Maybe it’s called a spanner then?” “What do you want to do?” And so on, question and answer,until we establish that she actually wants a pair of pliers…

Re forgetting names - I was always lousy at remembering them, but since retiring from university, I thankfully have far fewer to remember - over a teaching career it can add up to thousands of names., any one of whom might later contact you for a reference!

I knew a ceramics lecturer who used to seat his unwitting students at their pottery wheels in alphabetical order of fore name and keep a copy of the class list on his desk.

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I was on a creative writing online course run by Lancashire University and made it known that I had what I thought then was a ‘dyslectic’ problem with words. A teacher on the same course contacted me privately and said he had the same problem as I, ‘remembering words/names’ and named the medical condition. He had sought medical advice. His difficulty was remembering the names of all the children in the classroom. He said he was so relieved on his first day in class – he remembered their names. He had been introduced to, and advised on how to use prompt words/names.


I am reading a book about memory, ostensibly because I have noticed some micro short term memory losses, and because I’m 80. But not to worry, these appear to be normal, even for the neuro-scientist, thirty years younger than myself, who wrote the book.

Here are a couple of short extracts from her book for anyone concerned about their memory, as I am.

I’m finding memory a very interesting subject!

Genova.docx (15.0 KB)


This is good stuff! A Carrefour car park experience of losing the car gave me pause for thought at the time… was I losing my memory? I can usually find lost things by logic but yesterday evening I just couldn’t remember what we had for lunch. It gives me hope that if I remember to pay attention now and again I might function better!

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I am always losing things and can’t find them, since my 30s.

Now, if I go upstairs to get something, with my car keys in my hand, and have to put them down for a moment to find what I’m looking for, and once found go downstairs, and leave the keys where I put them, they become lost.

I have a special place for keys – hooks inside the front door. If they aren’t on the hook then they are lost.

Not really a problem because I have a tin box full of duplicate keys, and the original ones are found shortly, maybe on the bedside table or on the top of the chest of drawers I was searching through.

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Maybe conversation at lunch was more interesting…and memorable.

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Changing lyrics is so much fun, and something best done on the fly if possible. Unfortunately that also means the changes are forgotten quickly.

In a previous job we were involved in IVF and reproduction, and the menstrual cycle a regular topic of conversation. The Kris Kristofferson song words were changed to “you picked a fine time to leave me luteal”, which causes bafflement to most though it still amuses me.

If someone has a cold I might sing “sniffing in the back row, of the movies on a Saturday night with you”.



Your post about alternative lyrics pricked my memory.

At school in the 1950s, in London, school prayers, God Save the Queen, or an anthem was sung to alternative lyrics by cheeky schoolboys.

I cannot for the life of me remember what we sang. And I can’t find the right google keywords.

I don’t think this applied just to London - does anybody remember?

Going to an even earlier era “hark the herald angels sing, Mrs Simpson’s pinched our king”.


Have just remembered – it was a Christmas carol – ‘While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated….etc."

We sang ‘While shepherds washed their socks at night’. Can’t remember the rest of the words.

While shepherds washed their socks by night, all seated round the tub, a bar of soap came tumbling down and they began to scrub… (I think)…
if I recall correctly (and it was a long time ago…) my brothers had various versions which they tried to teach me… :rofl: :rofl:

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