After decades of trying to figure it out I finally have the reason!

For most of my life I have been unable to come up with the name of objects, people or certain terms. I had always blamed it on moving too often as a child and not learning to memorize names. This never made sense when it came to me forgetting the name of a part in an engine or tool though or why I couldn't reel off the difference between a class and struct in an interview even though I know the difference.

Today, after hosing yet another interview, I began searching for why I knew what everything was and how to use it, but could not get the name from my memory. And I found it! On Wikipedia there was a perfect write-up about my condition, Word Selection Anomia. I have included parts of the article below.

Under the causes section, both stroke and physical brain damage are said to be factors. I did have a small stroke at the age of 23, and did, at age 5, shove a piece of steel through my left eyelid and back around the eye socket. Neither of these episodes showed any permanent damage, but perhaps is the root cause?

So, when I come in to interview, please do not look at me like I lied on my resume or tell me I'm a first-year dev even though I've been doing this for 20 years. I have coded more than most teams combined and it's reusable, efficient, maintainable, scaleable, well-tested and will easily stand the test of time.

<-- Back to Resume

Anomic Aphasia

Anomic aphasia (also known as dysnomia, nominal aphasia, and amnesic aphasia) is a type of aphasia where an individual has consistent inability to produce words for things that they want to talk about (particularly nouns and verbs). Anomia is a deficit of expressive language. The most pervasive deficit in the aphasias is anomia. Some level of anomia is seen in all of the aphasias.


Anomic aphasia (anomia) is a type of aphasia characterized by problems recalling words, names, and numbers. Speech is fluent and receptive language is not impaired in someone with anomic aphasia. Subjects often use circumlocutions (speaking in a roundabout way) in order to avoid a name they cannot recall or to express a certain word they cannot remember. Sometimes the subject can recall the name when given clues. Additionally, patients are able to speak with correct grammar; the main problem is finding the appropriate word to identify an object or person.

Sometimes subjects may know what to do with an object, but still not be able to give a name to the object. For example, if a subject is shown an orange and asked what it is called, the subject may be well aware that the object can be peeled and eaten, and may even be able to demonstrate this by actions or even verbal responses – however, they cannot recall that the object is called an "orange." Sometimes, when a person with this condition is multilingual, they might confuse the language they are speaking in trying to find the right word (inadvertent code-switching).


There are three main types of anomia:
  • Word selection anomia occurs when the patient knows how to use an object and can correctly select the target object from a group of objects, and yet cannot name the object. Some patients with word selection anomia may exhibit selective impairment in naming particular types of objects, such as animals or colors. In the subtype known as color anomia, the patient can distinguish between colors but cannot identify them by name or name the color of an object. The patients can separate colors into categories, but they cannot name them.

Life with anomic aphasia

This disorder may be extremely frustrating for people with and without the disorder. Although the person with anomic aphasia knows the specific word, they may not be able to recall it and this can be very difficult for everyone in the conversation. However, it is important to be patient and work with the person...