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Poking idiots in the eye since 2002
...it's mocktacular!
Here's a stupid I heard from a friend. I thought it might be good… 
30th-Jan-2008 06:39 pm
Here's a stupid I heard from a friend. I thought it might be good here. Apparently this girl does this quite frequently, but here's the one I have:

"Can deaf people hear their own thoughts?"
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1st-Feb-2008 05:32 am (UTC)
Actually that's a pretty interesting question, from a neurophilosophical perspective. Define "hear". Is a congenitally deaf person capable of the sensation? Would they know if they were, or would it be some nameless and mythic mode of perception, like a "sixth sense" is to the rest of us?
Do they arrange their inner monologue audially, like we do, or maybe kinesically, visually?
It's worth asking.
1st-Feb-2008 05:36 am (UTC)
Would also likely depend on if they were genetically deaf or became deaf later.
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1st-Feb-2008 05:40 am (UTC)
Oh, that'd make sense! Here I was, thinking people who spoke Spanish thought in Cherokee, but thinking in Spanish makes a heck of a lot more sense than that! How silly I've been!
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1st-Feb-2008 05:41 am (UTC)
It kinda reminds me of the "what if my blue is your red" question from when I was little.
1st-Feb-2008 05:57 am (UTC)
ugh that one still messes me up if I think about it too much
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1st-Feb-2008 06:00 am (UTC)
That kinda reminds me of a yoga class I had with a deaf girl. The teacher asked her how to pronounce her last name.

The interpreter kinda smiled a little and passed on the question to the student, who laughed and signed back "i have no idea, but let me know if you figure it out"
1st-Feb-2008 06:12 am (UTC)

I love it. This one deserves it's own post!
1st-Feb-2008 08:04 am (UTC)
No, their brains just sign everything to 'em.

1st-Feb-2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
*is mesmerized by icon*
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1st-Feb-2008 08:37 am (UTC)
Let me put this to rest for those wondering. Yes.

Not all deaf people are the same. Deaf who are prelinguially Deaf, will most likely think in ASL. Deaf who are postlingually Deaf will most likely think in memorized sounds or as words. I am speaking of Deaf with big D -- those who embrace Deafhood. Deaf with lowercase would be the general term meaning "one who has diminished hearing."

Those who are deaf and may be oralists (don't sign but are deaf nonetheless) most likely think in sounds that they perceive or in words.

But all deaf can "hear" their thoughts and have a thinking process. Just in case any wondered!
1st-Feb-2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
Good explanation and yes, I agree. But regarding myself, I seem to be an exception - raised with Total Communication, using spoken and signed language both -, because I tend to think in German. I can also think in German sign language, but my default is German, and I would say that I don't think in written or spoken language, but in a mix of both or something entirely else (conceptual?) that yet maintains the grammatical structure of German. Huh. *scratches her head* Same goes for when I think in English. I think it's because I was a really, really avid bookworm when I was a kid. :-)
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1st-Feb-2008 05:06 pm (UTC) - Re: Taking this more seriously than it was meant!
Indeed - connected to the question of whether people without language are capable of thinking. Now we know babies can think, as can people without speech, but it's not that long ago that deaf people were denied property and thought to lack souls because they couldn't speak and were therefore deemed to be incapable of thought.
1st-Feb-2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
I don't think the question is stupid. It's likely to be from ignorance. I've encountered many hearing people, either having lack of Deaf Culture knowledge or do having knowledge, who still asked that question.

Sound is so inherent (for lack of better word) in our society that having an inability to hear or speak or at having understanding of sound is just improbable and alien.

Being profoundly deaf for most of my life, I still don't understand how important sound is. It has no meaning to me and I deal just fine without the ability to hear. Yet, I do know sound IS important to the society (pretty much the world).

I may roll my eyes and snicker at the question, but also, I'm glad because people would be curious about that and just want to know. Thanks to the comments and explanations, the world of LJ knows more!
2nd-Feb-2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks to the comments and explanations, the world of LJ knows more!

Agreed. I had often wondered how the deaf structured their thoughts in their minds but was too afraid to ever ask.
1st-Feb-2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
who? whowhowhowhowho?

2nd-Feb-2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
I don't know who the girl was but I got that from Katie...
1st-Feb-2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
oh, icon love!!! megatokyo!!! :)
2nd-Feb-2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes we can! XD
I love some of the questions that I get from people when they realise I'm deaf - this is one of the more popular ones and each and every time it makes me chuckle!
2nd-Feb-2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
going along with the serious answers, i asked my dad (born hearing, lost it in early middle school, is now mostly deaf) and he said, 'i tend to shift between ASL & verbal English, depending on which I'm around most. The verbal doesn't have any sound though... odd.'
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