ellesieg (ellesieg) wrote in 1word1day,
ellesieg
ellesieg
1word1day

Tuesday Word: earworm

Ah, music -- the moonlight in the gloomy night of life, the strongest form of magic, the only truth, a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy, capable of soothing the savage beast, naming the unnameable and communicating the unknowable. And, as anyone who has ever had an earworm knows all too well, driving you out of your ever-loving mind.

An earworm is a song or song fragment that you just can't get out of your head. Maybe you genuinely like the song, but are perfectly content with hearing it on the radio every now and then. Maybe it's okay as background noise, but it would never occur to you to go out of your way to listen to it. Maybe you hate it so much that you would like to send its creator a strongly-worded letter and buy a copy of the album it's on just to have the satisfaction of melting it into a useless lump, or repeatedly hurling it at a brick wall, then grinding its remaining shards into a fine powder beneath your heel.

Regardless, your brain has other plans. Focus on a task that is intellectually demanding and it fades out, but sit idly and feel it swell from a whisper to a deafening roar. Allow boredom to set in and slip into a daydream that is soon shattered by the realization that it is scored with THE SONG. Think "It's finally gone! YESSSS!" and you might as well have requested an encore.

[Read more]Getting a song you're familiar with but don't know all of the lyrics to stuck in your head is horrendous, but perhaps the worst type of earworm is a song or song fragment that is just as annoying or even more annoying once it's become lodged in your brain as it was as a free-range worm, harmlessly (or so you thought) streaming out of a speaker.

I can think of a number of pop songs that fit the bill, but in my continually earworm-fraught mind, the ultimate earworm is "The Song That Never Ends." It's easy to memorize, consisting of a single verse. It's repetitive enough to make you want to pop your eardrums with pencils, yet varied enough that you are forced to sing or mentally replay every single, agonizing line rather than abridge it by omitting repeated lines, as I've found happens with "The Song that Gets on Everybody's Nerves." It's patronizing -- "my friends," song? Your very existence is a slap in the face to the notion of amity. It's INCREDIBLY irritating, practically designed to push already-overwrought parents over the edge.

And, of course, while performances of it inevitably come to an end, the song never does. It can never be finished, never be conquered. Forget the zombie apocalypse. The true horror is a world where "The Song That Never Ends" has invaded every mind, demanding to be sung. We will cease to eat, sleep, breed, think. It will leech our lives of all purpose or higher meaning. When that day comes, there will only be the song, cheerfully serenading us to our graves.

This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started singing it not knowing what it was,
And they'll continue singing it forever just because
This is the song that never ends
It just goes on and on my friends
Some people started singing it not knowing what it was,
And they'll continue singing it forever just because
THIS IS THE SONG THAT NEVER ENDS
IT JUST GOES ON AND ON MY FRIENDS
SOME PEOPLE STARTED SINGING IT, NOT KNOWING WHAT IT WAS,
AND THEY'LL CONTINUE SINGING IT FOREVER JUST BECAUSE

Earworm comes from the German Ohrwurm (literally "ear worm"), which can refer to both an earwig and an especially catchy tune.

Happy April Fools' Day! I'm sorry.
Tags: e, german, noun, wordsmith: ellesieg
Subscribe

  • Sunday Word: Interlocutor

    interlocutor[in-ter- lok-y uh-ter] noun: 1 one who takes part in dialogue or conversation 2 the performer in a minstrel show who is placed…

  • Wednesday Word: Déraciné

    Déraciné - noun or adjective. You may know déraciné as the title of a video game, but this French word can also be used as an adjective or noun.…

  • Tuesday word: Convoluted

    Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 Convoluted (adjective) con·vo·lut·ed [kon-vuh-loo-tid] adjective 1. twisted; coiled. 2. complicated; intricately…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 3 comments