Re: Tina the Techwriter Reopens the Great Debate

Subject: Re: Tina the Techwriter Reopens the Great Debate
From: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2004 22:32:52 -0700

In a provocative Original Message From: "Bruce Byfield"
<bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 8:52 AM

> On the other side of this question, I remember picking up a
book once that had
> someone thinking in Scots dialect. I decided that any writer
dumb enough to
> imagine that people think in dialect wasn't worth reading.

Jumping in late as usual, I wasn't going to bother, but something
about it has been making me curious, and I have some loose ends
to tie up, so...

The language of thought isn't defined, AFAIK. I assume that the
paysans of Alsace and the negritos of Zambales think in the same
wordless universal language of Homo sapiens.

I know that some people adore accents, like a sort of speech
candy--I knew a guy who spent a semester in England and came home
speaking with the accent, which he kept for years. I call this
affectation, but it makes me wonder if dialect accents are like
popular music, in the way that people get a song stuck in their
head? I've no idea how common this is--tourists do it some (the
chameleon instinct to blend in) but not obsessively. The guy I
knew might have been one in a million, or his thing might be
common enough that authors can target it with books saturated
with dialect and phonetically spelled out accents. Maybe this
will become a new grocery store paperback genre: Dialect Novels.
In the back of my mind I'm thinking (entrepreneurially) "Dialect
User Manuals". New thread?

Clearly, Bruce, you didn't have that problem with this
book--you're like the person watching a movie, aware of the
cinematic devices and trickery to the point that you can't
suspend disbelief ;-)

Out of curiosity, I wonder if you were put off by awareness that
thinking, like reading, does not involve the machinery of speech?
In drawing a parallel between reading and thinking, I mean that
some people act out speech when reading (reading with their
lips), but of course that is "talking to yourself," a useful
learning device, but not a "normal" part of reading. "Thinking
out loud" is the only example I have of people acting out their
thoughts as speech, but again not a "normal" part of thinking
(except in the car).

Ned Bedinger
Ed Wordsmith Technical Communications Co.
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
tel: 360-434-7197
fax: 360-769-7059


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Re: Tina the Techwriter Reopens the Great Debate: From: Sean Hower
Re: Tina the Techwriter Reopens the Great Debate: From: Bruce Byfield

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