Can You “Hear” What You Read And Write?
Here’s a fun little experiment. Read the passage below in your head and see if it makes sense to you. If it doesn’t, read it out loud to yourself. If it still doesn’t make sense, ask someone to recite it to you. Hopefully, then it should be obvious.
And if you don’t have someone (to recite the passage to you, that is, not in general — that’s a whole ‘nother issue that’s outside the scope of this article), click here and copy-and-paste the passage into the text reader.
Okay, here’s the passage:
Up led Joe legions tulip lag lovely ewe gnat his date sublet merit cob. Unto theory pup leg, fur wretched stance, unlay shin, on dirt got, end if is civil, whiff fibber tea Angie us diss four hall.
As a teacher, I’ve learned that different people have different styles of learning, the two most common being visual and auditory. Visual learners need to see information, while auditory learners need to hear information.
If the above passage works as intended, whether or not you can figure it out may reveal whether you’re more of an auditory or visual learner. I believe that auditory people will naturally “hear” this passage as they’re reading it, so they’ll easily be able to understand it. Visual learners, on the other hand, will only see the words on the screen and may not immediately be able to decipher them.
As a writer, I’ve learned that writing isn’t just about grammar and spelling. Good writing flows and has a comfortable rhythm. It’s almost melodic.
In this respect, I believe it’s important to “hear” what we write, not just look at the words. Even when we’re dealing in articles that were never intended to be read aloud, we have to pay close attention to how our words sound. Because cadence is just as important to good writing as all the other technical stuff. And because there will be people out there who “hear” your written words!
I do wonder if auditory people tend to be better at writing conversationally (do auditory people make better speechwriters, for instance?), as they will naturally hear the words in their head while they’re writing. If that’s true, then someone who’s more visual may need to read their writing out loud to really get an idea of how it might come across to others.
So, did you figure out the passage? Are you more of a visual learner or an auditory learner? Feel free to tell us how you did. But don’t give away the answer, please!
PS: As was pointed out to me by a non-American friend, this experiment really only works if you grew up in the United States.