Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The word finding device that fits in your pocket
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"Tip-of-the-tongue" (TOTT) is a condition where you can't quite think of a word or name, even though you know you know what it is. Usually you know the first letter of the word, and even the number of syllables in it (or at least the general length of it), but still can't come up with it. TOTT becomes more common as we get older and may also result from certain types of mental illnesses.

TOTTmeister is a small pocket computer that can help with this problem. Shaped like a tongue, it flips open to reveal a keyboard and display screen.

TOTT candidate words have the advantages that they are usually nouns or names (as opposed to vague functional words), usually long (at least 6 letters), and usually uncommon in frequency (without being unreasonable - there are certain words you don't expect yourself to be able to remember). Therefore the list of words that TOTTmeister needs to store or search through is much smaller than a dictionary.

As mentioned above, the words in TOTTmeister are indexed primarily by first letter, number of syllables, and number of letters; also by whether the word is a proper noun or not. You can define your own categories too for personal use; e.g. if you're a forgetful birdwatcher, you might add "birds" as a key field so that you can easily search for "cormorant". You can search by any one or more of these key fields and the device supports "fuzzy searching" (e.g. if you misestimate the number of syllables by 1)

So, if you're trying to think of a gray animal but all you can come up with is "ruhblahblahblah", just type in "R4" and "rhinoceros" should be on the first page of results.

The TOTTmeister software comes with 2000 commonly forgotten English words, as well as another 1000 famous people (e.g. Presidents), actors and actresses, broken down into category lists. You can choose which of of these words to install into the device. Obviously having unnecessary words in there is disadvantageous. But, you never know when you are going to need one.

You can (and should) add new words to the device, especially names of coworkers, friends of friends, etc.

Your master wordlist can be stored on your home computer and synched with your TOTTmeister via USB wires. Data entry directly into TOTTmeister is possible but slow.

One final point: To prevent this product's name from becoming cruelly ironic (like the difficult spelling of "dyslexia"), the device can be set to audibly announce "I am called TOTTmeister. I help you remember words and names that you forget." every 10 minutes. This way if you need to ask someone to get it for you but can't think of what it's called, there's an end to the problem very soon.

phundug, Sep 06 2007


       Can I have this, like, today? I mean, it's one more damn device I'd have to carry around, but still way more useful than my phone, PDA and MP3 player. What's that word, I dunno, starts with a "b"? Bread? Biscuit? B.... ?
Noexit, Sep 06 2007

       despite being a walking TOTTmeister myself (which i'm sure cruelly aggrevates my v patient boyfriend at times) i think this is a fine idea. i know i'll need it in the next ten years if not sooner, the way my brain is melting.
k_sra, Sep 06 2007

       Well, yes and...what was I saying? Oh yes, let's not forget the pastry. +
xandram, Sep 06 2007


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