NeuroLinguistic Programming says that we experience the world in one of three primary ways. Most people start with the visual, a few of of us (like TBB) need to experience it in their body, in a kinasthetic manner, but a bunch of us start by hearing it, by using the auditory.
I just saw The Aristocrats, and in that film, Penn Gillette says that it wasn’t until he heard of mess of comics tell the same joke that he really understood that comedy is like jazz — it’s the singer, not the song.
For me, it’s the voice more than the words. The reason I can just sit down and crank out these long pieces in one blow is because I trust the voice. I can hear when I have typed a klinker, something that isn’t right. And on the rare occasions I have to send something out for publishing, I like to read it out loud before it goes, smooting the voice so it sounds right.
When the house is empty, I make noises. Songs, rantings, poetry, noises. I need to hear the range of sounds come out of me. A friend once said that she often heard me making sounds, and she assumed I was trying to affect her, to bother her or communicate, but when she turned to look at me, I seemed to be completely unaware that was even making noises.
I remember one conversation I had with a four year old boy in the library. The text was simply the alphabet said over and over again, but by changing the sounds, it added interest and fun. I would say letters with intonation, and he would reply with a few letters of his own. He was young enough that remebering the letters was sometimes hard, but the sounds kept him involved and engaged.
It’s mostly women who are auditory. To be a mommy, you have to be attuned to kids, and that usually means being attuned to how they sound, when they cry, when they are playing in the other room, when they are telling a story and have no words to fit the feelings into.
I love the BBC. In the UK, people sound different, and that diversity of language is valued. Samantha Jones, she of The Travel Channel, said that was her biggest delight on her trip to Britain, the reverance for language, for the sound and the nuance of it.
Sound is tough on the digital page. I have often had people wonder how anyone can like me because I sound so intellectual and harsh, while people who know my voice say that my writing sounds like me and it makes them laugh, the way I do. We hear texts with the voices we have available in our head, and too often our own expectation of sarcasm or belittlement creeps into our reading.
And that’s the most frustrating thing for me, the fact that there really isn’t anyone attuned to my voice, that so much of what I want to communicate that can’t easily be put into words is just lost. I try to communicate and it falls on deaf ears, or worse, onto no ears at all.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t love the sound of it. Ah, godalmighty, I do.