jog vs. jar

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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    When someone (or something) jogs your memory, they are are reminding you of something you have forgotten.

    When someone jars something loose in your memory, they said or done something that helps you remember a fragment of a larger memory.

    I don't have any mental picture for someone jarring my memory, although some people are jarring to remember.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think you want 'jog', unless you mean that the other person is giving your memory an unpleasant jolt and perhaps dislocating it.

    Cross-posted with a cat.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I don't know what I mean, but are you guys saying that "jarring" is more dramatic, whereas "jogging" is less so?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'm saying that we normally use jog your memory. I went on to say that it just may be possible to have something jarred loose in your memory ... maybe ... but I wouldn't put a lot of weight on that.

    Best to stick with jog.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    We're getting context in post 9? :rolleyes:

    ... my reverie was interrupted by a familiar object alongside the road. I remembered that it had intruded upon my springtime thoughts last year; and, if memory serves, the springtime before. The grungy, torn blue blanket had first rested on a roadside post, then for a while had rolled along the roadside, and finally now hung from a branch of a scraggly ailanthus tree, waving forlornly in the spring breeze.

    I don't know why this particular piece of roadside flotsam so jarred my memory; perhaps it was because it pricked my conscience, knowing that I could have stopped and picked up the unsightly thing two years ago.


    I would suggest one of several things:
    1. It's just the word this person uses for "jogged."
    2. The sight of the blanket has jarred something loose in a larger memory of previous trips.
    3. The sight of the blue blanket and the memory of having seen this same blue blanket twice in the last two years is such an improbable occurrence that it is jarring.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    #10. I just found (googled) usage, that's it, nothing more, nothing less. I don't have any more context, as I stated in my OP. I was clueless to begin with. It was something I wrote, and didn't know what was right.

    My context was not my link, if you understand.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Come on people - where is your knowledge of basic English verbs? :eek:

    "to jog someone's memory" means "to remind someone [of something or to do something]".

    jog/ʤɒɡ/
    verb (jogs, jogging, jogged)...
    • 2 nudge or knock slightly.


    and "to have one's memory jarred" refers to the forced recall of something unpleasant, triggered by some sensory input from the environment.

    jar2
    verb (jars, jarring, jarred)
    • 1 send a painful or uncomfortable shock through (a part of the body).■ strike against something with an unpleasant vibration or jolt.


    ____________________________________________________________
    NOTE
    I am also amazed that no-one seems familiar with the phrase 'jar someone's memory" I have known both phrases and the difference between them for as long as I can remember.
     
    Last edited:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The Ngram comparing 'jogged his memory' with 'jarred his memory' shows that the latter as a late-comer, not appearing much until 1980. In the most recent works they compare, 'jogged his memory' appears about 8 times as frequently as 'jarred his memory'.

    It is not surprising that some people may feel that 'to jar someone's memory' common, while others may find it unfamiliar or unusual.
     
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