In addition to recorded speech below, I’ve noticed that I continue to drop verbs and prepositions, use present tense when past is required and meant, inflect non verbs as if verbs (‘I stilling here’ [meaning: I’m still here]) confuse ‘interesting with ‘interested’, confuse pronouns when there are too few many in the discourse, confuse opposites (e.g., ‘few’ for ‘many’) often can’t retrieve common expressions, scramble formulaic schemes (‘Don’t short yourself’ [meaning: Don’t sell yourself short]), and generally form sentences oddly and awkwardly, with less than optimal intention. And I speak more carefully, hesitantly and deliberately.

Sometime, I want to try to let my speech loose with someone, just to hear what it sounds like. But mostly, I’m guarded.

These are all in the last week since January 27:

1. I can’t go high that

meaning: I can’t go that high

2. You are the best listener [hesitation] I know anyone

meaning: You are the best listener anyone I know

[in conversation in person: two relative clauses]

3.Don’t short yourself

meaning: Dont’ sell yourself short

[alone: formulaic expression, dropped verb replacing adj for verb]

4. I think get most retroactive payments

meaning: I think I can get most retroactive payments

[phone conversation: dropped pronoun, second ‘I’]

5. You’re none of business

meaning: It’s none of your business

[phone conversation: dropped pronoun]

6. Now don’t fall me down me

meaning: Now don’t let me fall down

[alone: pleonastic pronoun]

7. That’s about of it

meaning: That’s about it

[formulaic expression]

8. because I don’t really work at it to make [hesitate, restart] I don’t try it to make simple

meaning: I don’t really work at making it simple; I don’t try to make it simple

[phone: dropped verbal inflection; scrambled?]

9. they became brothers like me

meaning: they became like brothers to me

[phone:scrambled formulaic expression]

10. you never quite sure

meaning: you’re never quite sure

[dropped verbal clitic]

11. somebody guy I like

meaning: somebody/ some guy I liked

[phone: pleonstic noun?]

12. just what you know, what you needs

meaning: just what you know he needs

[phone: confused pronouns]

13. I was the first person who  [pause, restart] He was the first person that I called him

meaning: He was the first person that i called him

[phone: confused topic with subject]

14. soiree, what’s it called [hesitant] a musicale

meaning: soiree, musicale

[phone: often I doubt my word choice, insisting there is a better, even though it appears that the choice is the right word]

15. you’ll be a great surgery

meaning: you’ll be a great surgeon

[phone: mischoice of derivation]


6 Responses to “plague”

  1. Dorothy Ross Says:

    I am curious about the title of this post. Why did you choose “Plague”?

    • rob Says:

      Because these persistent, repetitive problems are plaguing me — which is just to say that the deficits have settled into a repertory, clearly identifiable.

  2. rob Says:

    This may be a little silly, and completely irrelevant to linguistics or speech pathology, but I wanted to record also that the snippets sometimes might give a misleading impression of my personality. For example, when I said to myself, “Don’t short yourself” I was not talking about myself, but repeating to myself something I’d told to a friend recently, and when I said in conversation, “It’s your none of business” I was using in a story mode about some circumstance — I don’t think I’ve said that to anyone’s face since childhood.

  3. Soren Says:

    Hello. I’m fascinated. I also had a stroke last year, a bad one. Hemorrhagic. 44 years old. My stroke also affected my language, especially functor words. I was a copy editor, so it’s hard.

    If you want, you can follow my tale starting at:

    But I will understand if you don’t. It’s hard enough to follow your stroke, if you know what I mean.


    • rob Says:

      I recognize so much in your comments on parlando. Great blog name — I’m jealous! One of the benefits of not having an imagination or creativity is that no stroke will ever steal them from me. I’m armored and 100% safe. I’ve also learnt that there was little reason to despair of the loss of fluency: what do you know, people don’t want to listen! They never wanted to listen in the first place. Talk, I used to say to students in linguistics class, is the trait that most characterizes our species: only we humans talk, and all we humans talk — incessantly, compulsively, like chattering birds. But, oddly, our compulsive love of talking, in our species evolution, has not been matched by any love of listening, compulsive or otherwise. A compulsive listener?? Only in the theater. It seems, among some humans, listening is an entirely gratuitous faculty, like an appendix easily dispensed, or long nose hairs that would sooner be plucked away, and if returned — plucked again! with at most some small consternation at the annoyance and the unpleasant sensation.

      Except, of course, for people who really care, and they are just as attentive and thoughtful and sensitive and interested as ever, regardless of our halting, stammering or hesitating. Now, I don’t expect I’ll be telling stories in front of audiences again for a while, if ever, but that’s their loss, no? 🙂 Thanks for sending your blog and thanks for reading this one.

    • rob Says:

      I’m interested that the function words are particularly affected. If you want to post more details here, feel free.

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