What's the name of this specific
February 8, 2014 11:39 AM Subscribe
I try to open my front door with my swipe card from work, put 1cm-wide lids onto 5cm-wide bottle tops, and try to write on a whiteboard with a tablet stylus. Is there a name for this form of memory/concentration lapse?
posted by metaBugs to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
When my main focus is elsewhere, there's clearly a part of my mind that means well and knows that I need "something that unlocks doors" or "something that seals a bottle", and is capable of finding something from that category and trying to use it. What it's not capable of doing is checking whether it's the *right* thing from that category, even if it's a swipe card vs a key, or a 1cm red tube lid instead of a 5cm blue bottle lid. So I suddenly become aware of what I'm doing when I'm moving my swipe card toward a key lock, or when I drop the tiny lid into the big bottle of sterile solution AGAIN, damnit.
Everyone knows what Freudian Slips, Malapropisms and Spoonerisms are. Similarly, is there a name for the common mistake* of trying to use one conceptually similar but obviously wrong object in place of another?
*For bonus points: It's not just me, right? Right?