Seeing Forgotten English Words the Next Day & the “Gut Feeling”

By Robby

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– Video Transcript Below –

Hi guys and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog!

Or, in case you can’t actually watch this YouTube video, welcome back to my podcast! Right? Because as a matter of fact, I’m publishing every single video in two formats.

One as a traditional video format which gets uploaded onto YouTube, and the other one is the audio file, mp3 file which gets uploaded onto the server and it’s accessible on my website.

I post it right above the video or, alternatively, you can actually access all those podcasts on iTunes or the other website is called Stitcher. Alright?

But anyhow, today’s topic is vocabulary, right? And I’m just going to tell you a few things that happened to me within the last few days, right, in terms of vocabulary acquisition and actually remembering words that you, kind of, know but you might’ve forgotten them, right?

I Was Having an Inner Conversation and Couldn’t Remember a Specific Word…

And as it often happens, I was talking to myself, I was downtown, I think, right? If I’m not mistaken… And obviously there were people around me and in that particular situation, I wasn’t speaking out loud with myself because that’d be very weird, right?

I’m actually avoiding being caught in public speaking with myself, but what I’m doing in such a situation is I’m kind of having an inner conversation with myself and I’m making sure that my lips move just ever-so-slightlyyou know what I mean?

From outside you wouldn’t tell that I’m actually speaking with myself, but a very, very tiny lip movement is there, right? Because I strongly believe that if you just try and think in English in your brain, all your thoughts eventually get mixed up and you cannot manage it, you know what I mean?

It’s therefore very important, actually, to speak and giving it some time, you can actually master the art of speaking with your mouth shut, so to speak, right?

And I was trying to describe the process of getting off of the bus. So basically, when you’re picked up at the bus stop by a bus driver, it’s called picking you up, right? The bus driver picks you up and it’s a pick up and I forgot the term – the opposite term which describes the process of letting you off of the bus, right?

When you disembark the vehicle, which is called dropping you off – it’s a drop off, right? And I was thinking to myself, “Was it “set off” or “set down”?” For some reason or another, the word “set” was coming up in my mind and I just couldn’t remember the right phrasal verb, which is “drop off”, right?

And I just couldn’t remember it. I felt that to “set off” or “set out” or “set down” – they were all the wrong phrasal verbs because they described other processes and it’s got nothing to do with dropping someone off the bus.

But I just couldn’t remember the right phrasal verb, you know what I mean? And it sometimes happens and there’s nothing wrong with it. Not that I would be freaking out about it, I was just annoyed about the fact and then I let it go and I went on about my daily business.

Next Day I Came Across the Phrasal Verb I Was Trying to Remember The Previous Day!

The next day I was walking my dog, passed the sign, and it said there, “This is a drop off point only. No parking.” So the funny thing is that the exact word, the exact phrasal verb that I couldn’t remember the day before was right there in plain sight on the sign the next day.

And you may actually want to read this article and watch the related video about new vocabulary word phenomenon, which is a similar phenomenon. Basically, when you learn a new word or term or collocation, it starts appearing everywhere, right?

It starts appearing everywhere, even though previously you rarely actually heard it, right? And this is something similar. The thing that you were trying to remember the day before all of a sudden pops up right in front of you as you’re walking past the sign, right?

Even though on another occasion you might not actually have paid much attention to that sign, right?

But so it happens that that particular phrasal verb was the one I was trying to remember yesterday and it’s just a funny thing guys, right, that I wanted to share with you.

How My Intuition or the So-called “Gut Feeling” Helped Me

And another thing – and this is in relation to the so-called gut feeling, which I’m touching upon quite frequently, and you may want to read about it here – and the gut feeling describes the intuition that you possess as an English speaker and it describes the sense for correct English, which is basically speak and everything that you say comes out of your mouth without any conscious thought whatsoever, and sometimes you don’t even know why you’re saying things a certain way but they just come out of your mouth without any consideration whatsoever and it’s all because you have been exposed to so much English over the years and you’ve been doing a lot of speaking and everything and all the content is sitting there in your brain and then, at a certain stage, it just comes out without you actually being aware – aware you’ve actually learned that particular expression or grammar construct.

You just know that it’s right and just say it and you feel that it’s right; it has to be said that way, but you wouldn’t be able to describe why you actually have to say that and this is the – I would describe it as the highest level of fluency.

Basically, you don’t even have to think about it, you just speak and you can rest assured in the knowledge that whatever you’re saying is great, is correct, OK?

And what happened to me today was I was typing another article, as it happens, right? I was typing away on my laptop and I wanted to describe a process of when some other sound is overpowering and it actually makes the other sound or noise less audible and I was typing and when I actually typed, I kind of verbalize the whole process – I actually speak in a similar fashion.

I do the inner thinking thing when in public, right? I speak with my mouth shut, but the lip movement is there. It’s barely noticeable, but it’s there and it’s essential that you actually make it happen, right? Because just like I told you – thinking just in your head is not going to be helpful and you may want to read this article where I’ve explained why, OK?

And I wanted to describe that process and I just typed up ‘drown out’ – other people drown out your voice, or something along those lines, and then I was thinking, “Hold on a second… but is it even right? Drown out?”

Because drowning describes the process of, for example, some person drowning, right? In the water. And I was like, “But it’s hardly right, now is it?” And I looked it up online and it turns out yeah, drown out describes the process of another noise drowning out something else, some other sound, and it’s an English idiomatic expression.

So in this particular case, it clearly shows how my gut feeling worked. I was writing away and that content, those two words, that phrasal verb ‘drown out’ just put itself, typed itself up on the screen and I spoke it out loud – well obviously, not loud, but in a slight whisper the way I do, but anyway, you catch the drift, right?

It came out by itself and then only afterwards I was kind of, “Hold on a second, is that right?” But it was right and it’s very important, my friends, to trust your gut feeling because if you start questioning yourself, that’s when your fluency goes out the window.

You can’t question yourself. You have to trust yourself. Granted, sometimes you will make mistakes but it doesn’t matter because 99% of occasions you’re going to be saying the right thing and those relatively few mistakes well – you’re going to learn from them because we’re all intelligent human beings and self-correction is a big thing and this is the article where I’m touching upon that subject, right?

And yeah, that’s about it. That’s all for today. And if you have similar experiences of trying to think of some word and then finding that word, seeing it the next day, for example, let me know in the comment section below!

And if you’ve had experiences with your gut feeling, when you say something and then you kind of think, “Is that right? How do I know it’s right?” If you have had such experiences, please share them with everyone in the comment section below and get the conversation going!

OK my friends, thanks for watching my video and talk to you soon again. Bye bye!


P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System
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  • SubtleChuckle

    Hello Robby, I’m always troubled by words that I know are the ones I’m to use, but I can’t recall at the moment they’re considered appropriate. I’m focused on writing at this instance. Would you like to offer your take on this?