Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thoughts (a meta-post in which I think about thinking)

What do you think in? I think primarily in words, and by in words I mean in written words. Having taken linguistics classes, I am fully aware that the written word is a representation of the spoken word, but my usual thought process remains convinced that it is the other way around. To me, the written word is the word. Also, words and meaning are linked more or less inextricably (although this has gotten better now that I am somewhat bilingual). For instance, paraphrasing things is rather difficult for me, because it involves taking the words and divorcing the meaning from them so as to put it in alternate words. I used to have to literally do it by thinking of synonyms and moving clauses around mechanically instead of being able to do it any natural way (again, being able to think in two different languages seriously improved this).
Interestingly, even though I am a musician, I similarly tend to think of the shapes and patterns of the written music as being the music instead of merely representing it. Yes, I know the music is the sound. Yes, I know this probably means I am weird.
Also please note that this is about thinking, not feeling.