a brainwashing song

Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

I wonder if I can say "XX is a brainwashing song" is this song is played every day in many places and people can't easily get the tune out of their minds. Many people sing this song. Even though the term "brainwashing" sounds negative, but when people saying "XX is a brainwashing song", it's neutral or a bit postive. Nowadays, there are many songs like this.

Thanks a lot
 
  • Korisnik116

    Senior Member
    Croatian
    ‘Brainwashing’ carries a different (albeit not inapplicable when describing a song) meaning from the one you're trying to employ. See the meaning of the adjective here.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree that "brainwashing" is completely wrong in this context. And I've never heard "earworm" where I live. "Catchy" doesn't quite catch what Silver's describing, in my opinion. I can't think of a single word for one of those songs you hear everywhere and can't get out of your head.
     

    Emir Narizovic

    New Member
    Japanese - Japan
    A catchy song would be one with a very memorable tune, melody or beat. An example of brainwashing would be North Korea, where people are raised while being told that Kim Jong-Un is a god. I've never heard of "earworm".
    My Suggestion;
    This song is stuck in everyone's head.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Is there a context in which you wish to use this expression?
    Do you have a particular song in mind?
    Hi, Aardvark01. I don't know whether you've listened to this song called Gangnam Style, it was very popular during the past two-to-three years. The melody is easily to remember, what's more is that the song has its dance. People here like it very much but when you've heard it thousand times, you would be sick of it. The problem is that the song was everywhere, you can hear this song from time to time these days. The composer is Psy, who graduated from a pretigious musical university in the US. (This makes him more popular.)

    Gangnam style is a brainwashing song. (I know the term is wrong, I wrote it again for an example answer to the question raised by "Aaradvark".) I don't like this song from the beginning to now. I think many people don't like it either, but they still listen because they can't help.

    An English song might be "Poker Face', the sing is Lady Gaga?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I'd say that the tune was "stale" or "worn-out", Silver. Long ago, I felt the same way about Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" that you do about "Gangnam Style".:cool:

    The word "earworm" certainly exists, but somebody borrowed that word from the Germans, and I'm not surprised to read that some of our members have never heard of it.
     
    Last edited:

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    I found this very useful thread in our forum. I've never heard of "earworm", but the meaning is clear, like earthworm, bookworm, etc. People here might use earworm, because non-native speakers tend to use words from dictionaries without thinking too much about its appropriateness.

    Thanks a lot, Owlman, long time no see. And thanks to everyone for helping me here.
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    A 'jingle' has 'hooks' which are designed to get us 'hooked' on the music/message:
    jingle - NOUN -
    2. A short slogan, verse, or tune designed to be easily remembered, especially as used in advertising:
    "he makes up advertising jingles"
    jingle - definition of jingle in English from the Oxford dictionary

    hook -NOUN -
    2.1 A catchy chorus or repeated instrumental passage in a piece of popular music:
    "strong, funky vocals with a hook that gets into your head"
    hook - definition of hook in English from the Oxford dictionary

    hooked - ADJ -
    2. informal: Addicted:
    "a girl who got hooked on cocaine"
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The word "earworm" certainly exists, but somebody borrowed that word from the Germans, and I'm not surprised to read that some of our members have never heard of it.
    It became popular sometime after Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan when a worm (the larva of a Ceti eel) was put in Chekov's ear to control him. I've never associated it with German or earwigs.
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    ... I've never associated it with German or earwigs.
    Wikipedia cites this.
    The term earworm is the literal English translation of the German word ohrwurm (see the earliest citation for more). An earworm is also sometimes called a sticky tune or a cognitive itch.
    earworm - Word Spy
    It's not much to go on but there does seem to have been a borrowing from the German (rather than from Roddenberry).
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Wikipedia cites this. It's not much to go on but there does seem to have been a borrowing from the German (rather than from Roddenberry).
    I'd really like to see a German citation and an explanation of the method of transmission ;). We haven't adopted a lot of German slang recently (since the war - don't mention the war!).
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It became popular sometime after Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan when a worm (the larva of a Ceti eel) was put in Chekov's ear to control him. I've never associated it with German or earwigs.
    I never watched any of the Star Trek movies, so the information about Wrath of Khan was news to me. I ran into the word long ago when I was reading a lot of German. Our dictionary agrees that German is the source language for the word:

    earworm /ˈɪəˌwɜːm/ n
    1. informal an irritatingly catchy tune
    Etymology: 20th Century: from German Ohrwurm earwig
     
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