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Alison R. Mouratis's picture

Wait, what was I going to say?


 “I have forgotten the word I intended to say, and my thought, unembodied, returns to the realm of the shadows.


As I read these articles, one particular thought kept popping into my head. In my French class currently, we have evening sessions with a TA where we do a lot of speaking, and repeating, and conjugating of verbs. During the sessions, my TA, Brittany, will often say a sentence (in French) and we have change something around and then repeat the sentence back to her. After class many people voiced the problems they were having with the exercise.  I said I personally was having trouble because it was hard balancing comprehending the sentence, changing the sentence, and then repeating it back to her. I asked her if she could simply write the original sentence on the board instead of just verbally saying it, but she insisted that the Professor wanted in to be done only verbally. I thought of this situation because it made me realize the immense connection between thought and language. The idea that when Brittany said something to me verbally, I had to think so much about the words I was looking for that I completely forgot what the actual sentence was, seemed like a great parallel to this article. I think it is especially interesting that I noticed this in a class where I am not fluent in the language and so, of course, it actually takes a lot of effort to think about what I am going to say. My first reaction after writing this past sentence was then to say I have no trouble speaking English and how it’s interesting that I do have trouble speaking French. But then it dawned upon me: how many times have I said, “I totally forgot what I was going to say” or "I'm having trouble finding the words"? Do I really just know what to say, or do I register it, perhaps in my unconscious, and so I am not aware that I am indeed registering it? What is it that makes me suddenly aware that I am at a loss for words? Has my unconscious, who’s been hard at work preparing my speeches for me, suddenly merged into my conscious brain, which then throws me off guard? Some food for thought…


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