May 22nd, 2010
Earworm, a loan translation of the German Ohrwurm, is a portion of a song or other music that repeats compulsively within one’s mind, put colloquially as “music being stuck in one’s head.” Use of the English translation was popularized by James Kellaris, a marketing researcher at the University of Cincinnati, and Daniel Levitin. Kellaris’ studies demonstrated that different people have varying susceptibilities to earworms, but that almost everybody has been afflicted with one at some time or another. The psychoanalyst Theodor Reik used the term haunting melody to describe the psychodynamic features of the phenomenon. Another scientific term for the phenomenon, involuntary musical imagery, or INMI, was suggested by the neurologist Oliver Sacks in 2007.
Wanted Words, a feature on CBC Radio One‘s This Morning hosted by Jane Farrow, also once asked listeners to invent a word for this phenomenon. Submitted entries included “aneurhythm” and “humbug.” The Official Earworm Synonym List includes alternative terms such as “music meme”, “humsickness” , “repetunitis”, “obsessive musical thought” and “tune wedgy.”--Wikipedia
Fell asleep with the TV on. This just woke me up. (sidenote: nice basket, Robbie)