Has Your Inner Monologue Got an Accent?

I have two recurring thoughts that seem to be a daily event.

One, is while staring out of a train window, I look at all the trees and think about the remarkable variety of life on the planet. I look at the trees near Milton Keynes and, briefly and inexpertly, wonder about all the forms that have led to these, currently successful ones. Sometimes, I am annoyed by one of those big winter flies that seems even more stupid than the summer ones and whose collision with lampshades and windowpanes is even more distracting. I think I shouldn’t kill it as it is part of a long line of flies who have mutated this far into the centuries, and it seems to be a pity that this family line is ended after some human struggling with impatient swatting. But then I think, “ah fuck it, it’s just a fly. There’ll be no shortage.” (flash forward to a Ray Bradbury style story of sentient time machine using house fly that cam back to the 21st century to save the earth, but is squashed after having been hairsprayed to slow it down, thus leading to a terrible end for all life in the universe).

Second, I unfailingly think, “hmmm, it’s all going to end sometime”. I am briefly flummoxed by the annoyance that I will not start all the books in my house, and there will come a point where information doesn’t come into me or leave me. I become annoyed at all the time I waste, then find myself wasting more of it playing minion rush or arguing over nothing in particular. Imagining the world without you is tricky. It is an attempt to see yourself as a ghost watching your offspring helplessly and hopefully.

(Actually, there are a couple of others that are almost daily.
“You are sharing space with the public, put your headphones in or turn the volume of if you are listening to music, or a talking book read by Martin Jarvis, or, on this occasion as I type, watching bloody tennis”
“let them off the train first, and don’t cluster around the door so people can slowly funnel out. You do realise that is slowing your advance, not hastening it, you bloody solipsistic ninnies”)

There is a third thought that has started to crop up recently. What do my thoughts sound like. I don’t hear them as they were my voice, otherwise I’d cringe as I do when hearing a recording. The words are there. I can “hear” them while typing, but they don’t have an accent. They can, if I force myself to imagine it (I am typing in this in a Yorkshire accent, and now this as Peter Sellers in The Party, but I still can’t really “hear” anything).
I don’t see the words.
I am aware of the words.
It is disconcerting when you start to interrogate your inner monologue.
To hear it, but hear nothing, but it is there.

This is giving me a headache. I can feel my brain squinting. the inner eye is Lee Van Cleef in pain.

It seems using my inner monologue to think about my inner monologue is jarring it, and so jarring me I suppose. I think I’ll just go and stare at myself in the mirror until the Caputo Effect kicks in.

A new series of Christmas Science AND HISTORY shows at The Bloomsbury, including Tony Law and Mary Beard on 15th December, Stewart Lee on 17th and 21st and plenty more, including Vessels as the house band on 16th and 17th. Details here


New Vitriola podcast, a Smiths specials, though we might not get as far as The Smiths in this version https://soundcloud.com/vitriolamusic/vitriolaepisode7 (also on itunes)

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4 Responses to Has Your Inner Monologue Got an Accent?

  1. Elizabeth Ferguson says:

    I often wonder what peoples thoughts sound like in their heads. I find it odd that mine sound male, mostly with no distinguishable accent.

  2. sgttibbs says:

    I’ve actually found that my internal monologue can take on an accent; this usually happens if I listen to too much of someone with an accent not my own (for instance when I binged on Dara O Briain’s dvds); it’s rather disconcerting, but usually goes away pretty quickly.

  3. Ben says:

    My inner voice mostly ‘sounds’ like I do to myself when I talk, not like I sound when I hear my recorded voice. It is also better at doing accents than I am aloud

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