chapter  3
14 Pages

A new taxonomy of memory and forgetting


Etymologically, the word “to forget” derives from the Old English word forgytan, which is composed by for-(passing by, letting go) and gietan (to grasp) and literally means “to lose (one’s) grip on” (Hoad, 1996). The two Italian words for “to forget” are dimenticare, from the Latin demens which means “without mind”, and scordare, which means “out of mind” (the literal meaning of the original Latin root is “out of heart”, reflecting Aristotle’s cardiocentric theory of the relationship between mind and body). In most languages, forgetting denotes a defective memory, that is, the inability to retrieve information as a consequence of vulnerable maintenance over time or ineffective recollection.