Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Forgetting Italian

My brain is full. Some would say it's shrinking as a result of the effects of ageing, but I prefer to think that nearly 43 years of Life has filled it dangerously full.

If my brain were a computer, I'd either upgrade it or toss it and buy a new one. But before it got to that stage I'd clear out all the failed downloads, free software that wasn't worth the money and all the various debris and detritus that litter an IT Guy's computer.

In that spirit I'm trying to forget Italian. Never used it, never likely to use it; so it's got to go to make room for the rest of my life.

Learning a foreign language is hard enough, but forgetting it is near impossible, especially when you never spoke it that well to begin with. When you try to forget the Italian word for "chair" (whoopie ! I did forget it !) - there's a chance you'll instead wipe out the Spanish word or the French words by accident. And then you'll have holes in the languages you want to keep.

So progress is slow and I'm not convinced that much space is being freed up, because I'm just as forgetful as I was before.

Plus, I'm looking for the equivalent of the "defrag" program that tidies up computer disks, putting information that belongs together in the same general area of the disk. Everything in my head seems to be smeared thinly across the whole brain like Marmite. Trying to piece
together a coherent train of thought involves an exhausting scavenger hunt :-

"Ah that sounds familiar - it's like the stuff I was listening to in that
place ... oh, you know, that place when I was doing that thing for the mobile
phone company in Bristol ... or was it Oslo ? Doesn't matter ... er, what did I
come in here for ..?"

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