43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Tracking Down the "Embarrassing Memory" Noise

Compelled to Blurt... | Ask Metafilter

Like a lot of people in this Ask Metafilter thread, I thought I was the only person in the universe who made an unconscious little noise when remembering something stupid I did or said.

It's not especially loud, in fact it's often under my breath. The sound is usually just a quiet grunt, or a word/syllable or two. If I remember an embarrassing conversation, I tend to blurt out a random word of the conversation (as in, I'm replaying the dialogue in my head but then all the sudden one of the words pops out of my mouth). If it happens while I'm reading, I tend to blurt out one or two of the words that happen to be under my eyes at the moment.

For context, my tic (which can also be heard when someone near me does something dumb) sounds a little like the noise Leo Bloom makes after he falls on his keys (00:34). "Ooooooom...."

The Question to You

Anyone else do this? Anybody out there qualified to talk about the psychology or neuroscience behind this apparent phenomenon? I’ll bet there’s a cool, scientific name for it.

Merlin's picture

Few of my oooooom moments

Oh, cugel these are good. You could easily be on our podcast.

I make the noise when I remember the time...

...when I was 13 that a big bunch of people were talking about where to eat, and when asked for a suggestion I said, "I'm expendable"...

...when I was in college and asked a simply-heavy-set waitress when her baby was due...

...when I was 12 and customarily wore white painters pants with a striped shirt and "Mork from Ork" rainbow suspenders...

...not three weeks ago when I asked the Borders guy where the books on "improv writing" were located...

Okay. I better stop. My throat's getting sore.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »