Recall Memory

I’ve just realized that most tools I use in my day-to-day allow me to do without my recall memory.

By “recall memory” I mean- I need this word, I can feel its existence, it’s on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t come up with it. (Is this the right term?) This has happened to me several times since I started writing more often a few weeks back.

My instinct is to go to Google and search for synonyms of some word; follow the terrain until I find what I’m looking for. But I’m going to resist in hopes that this is some skill to be improved with use again.

I suspect that IDEs- the editors I use to write code- are terrible for recall memory. 90% of my working day I’m in one, and for every word I type the next one is recommended. (…really? his job must be a cinch) It’s interesting that this doesn’t exist for text editors yet. Obviously programming languages are trivial to recommend in comparison to the full breadth of the English language, but I can imagine Machine Learning will come to text editors in a similar manor. Recommendation engines already exist in iMessage and Google Inbox, but I’m thinking along the lines of journalism/blogging/prose editors.

Does this lead to a generation of writers who always have the optimal next word, but who will forget how to come up with it on their own?

The last generation of coders was probably asking the same thing about me.

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