In Process and Reality one of the main concepts Whitehead talks about is the symbolic reference. A derivative element of the connection between symbolic type and meaning type of species (in Whitehead's terms) in the usage of language is the act of recollection:
"... The word is heard in the pure perceptive mode of immediacy... If the meaning of the word be an event... [then] that event is... a remembered perceptum in an earlier occasion of the percipient's life... [There] is a chain of symbolic references (inherited along the historic route of the percipient's life, and reinforced by the production of novel and symbolic references at varous occasions along that route) whereby in the datum for the percipient occasion there is a faintly relevant nexus between the word in that occasion of utterance and the event. The sound of the word, in presentational immediacy, by symbolic references elicits this nexus into important relevance, and thence precipitates feelings, and thoughts, upon the enhanced objectification of the event."
(Process and Reality 1978, p.182 "symbolic reference"; my own emphasis)
Later on Whitehead talks about the fact that sometimes the connection the symbolic reference makes, between the symbol and the meaning, is wrong:
"...Sometimes we are bothered because the immediate experience has not elicited the word we want. In such a case the word with the right sort of correlation with the experience has failed to become importantly relevant in the constitution of our experience."
(ibid.; again my own emphasis)
This is where I'm having a bit of a problem with the conclusion. From our experience we know that sometimes we have a hard time remembering the word that is relevant to our experience, but eventually we often do manage to remember it. According to the reasoning above, there should be some mechanism in the process of our experience that somehow makes repeated attempts to make that word relevant. But from the passage above it seems as though this process is a singular, one-time process. Following this reasoning, should we conclude that if we make another attempt to remember the correct word to utter our memories is actually another, entirely different process of experience?
It seems.. A bit far-fetched. We are still in the same process, our experience hasn't changed, the historic route that constituted it is still the same, why would it be a different process? And (perhaps more importantly), what has changed that now we can make the correct symbolic reference?