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01 February 2012

words, text and speech

Why can I write, but not speak?

Thoughts are transient; text is lasting.
Especially in my mind, my memory.

I speak better - more clearly, more forthrightly - when my hands and part of my mind is occupied with something unrelated to topic (like playing minesweeper while discussing deeply emotional topics with my mother). I don't know why.

But always, regardless, I write more faithfully to my thoughts than I speak. I don't understand it, though I can pick out events in my which seem related.

I remember when I was ten and I moved from a school in yankee suburbia to a poor urban school. Racially and economically, I was in the minority for the first time in my life, and I had no idea how to conduct myself. I sensed that the way I talked was offensive to the kids I was trying to befriend; they thought I was a snob. So I changed how I spoke. I became cruder, less mannered, and generally quieter. Other kids only talked to me when they needed help with their homework.

Four years later I moved to a school that was rural and poor, though it had a thin layer of wealthy kids riding it out til graduation. That was when I realized people didn't appreciate being corrected. So I changed again. I dumbed down my speech, only bringing my intelligence to the conversation when I was actively trying to hurt or embarrass someone. Predictably, it atrophied - as did my ability to speak intelligently in any context that was not an insult.

But I don't feel these incidences fully explain my inability to express myself now.

So many puzzles... I get the feeling they will all make sense only when I find a way to fit them all together into a single mosaic.

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