How closely are my words the same as my thoughts? Do they change when spoken compared to when written? Perhaps you have noticed, as I have, the often repeated words such as, “you know,” or the singular word “like.” Then there is the one that gets used while the brain seems to madly be searching for what to say next. “Uhh…!”
That probably doesn’t classify as a word. Expression or pregnant pause may be more accurate. What might be considered a polished speaker or orator, is the one who never allows those words to utter forth. Utter forth? When have I used those words in everyday conversation? This is what I’m talking about.
There was no conscious thought about using that particular word combination. Selection seems random enough, as there was no thought in using that phrase as opposed to any other. How does this change when going from the brain to the tongue as opposed to the fingers that are typing? This would make for a good Seinfeld sketch as it seems much ado about nothing.
Speaking ones mind or in this case mine, gives pause (there it is again, as I am unaware of using that phrase in my natural speaking or conversational voice) as to really saying the exact words my brain is selecting at any given instance. For the longest time I have always thought that speaking exactly what I was thinking to be paramount. Why would I think of saying something only to use a different way with spoken words?
Does this have anything to do with unconsciously selecting words according to the level of perceived intelligence or vocabulary of another? Since the subconscious controls so many of my functions, can this be the why? Yet when writing, that filter seems to be less selective, giving a broader range of words to choose from. Now this is really getting into some uncharted territory!
This could be the explanation of why, on many occasions, rereading something penned months or years ago, seems like it was written by someone else much more introspective, well read, intellectual and better educated than I. Realization that it really was me, actually comes as a bit of a shock, some surprise.
Can this be a case of doubting my writing ability or choice of words when speaking? Pleasantly surprising seems a better way to describe the mild impact. It’s never been some jolt into reality or some such. This was a thread recently seen on a blog for writers, and the number of echoes to this very occurrence was encouraging, that it is not unusual at all.
Where this sort of thing would seem common is writing fiction. Characters have to be developed so wandering off into vernaculars, accents, dialects and such would be normal. Everyday thinking or conversation has no reason to adopt such wandering around the abundance of words. So where is the explanation as to why this happens? Is there some unfulfilled need to use words that don’t get enough exercise in my vocabulary? Now there’s some ideas for more introspection!
So do I say what I think or think what I say? Are the words as random as the thoughts that generate them? I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll just keep on writing what I think I think and not be too terribly concerned about the how and where it came from. Isn’t that sorta like asking another one of those chicken or egg questions? Either way, I’ll take mine fried.
Think I’ll go read some more about that monster worm in Oregon.