Thursday, June 25, 2015

What the Hell?

From this post by Zara Sternberg at the Melville House Blog, interviewing Prof Daniel Donoghue of Harvard:
Donoghue: If you are ever reading out loud, there is a time lag – your reading is about 2 words behind the uttering of the word, and as long as there is a time lag, you have a moment of silent reading. Do you hear a little voice in your head when you read silently?
Sternberg: Yes.
Donoghue: Most people do. They also often move their lips as well, especially when trying to absorb difficult material.

Let me pull out the essential part of that: "Do you hear a little voice in your head when you read silently?" "Yes." "Most people do."

What the everlasting fuck? I've never heard a voice in my head while reading, and never even considered that anyone might. Is this actually a real thing? Am I some sort of weird outlier because I actually read instead of listen to things?

You know what -- this calls for a poll. Folks, let me know if I'm crazy or not:

Do you hear a little voice in your head when you read?

Yes -- all the time, my own voice
Yes -- all the time, another voice
Yes, sometimes, but not always
No, and I agree with you that this is utterly insane.
Poll Maker

If you have any trouble using the poll as an embed, this link should take you to cast your vote, and this one should link to the results.

Edit: I thought this poll would show results within the widget, but the "Results" button opens a new window on the host's site. I guess that's what happens when you use free web content without investigating too closely. Anyway, if you're having trouble seeing results, check your pop-up blocker.


Unknown said...

I tend to hear dialogue in "little voices", but not text? I think I do it mentally to differentiate characters. So sometimes, but not always.

Anonymous said...

I answered Always, but it might be Sometimes like when I'm really cranking along, or more likely skimming. I consider myself a pretty fast reader--about a page a minute for fiction. I seem to recall a reference to training yourself not to speak every word as a method of speed reading.

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