When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

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spupy
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When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby spupy » Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

When you think/speak "loud" to yourself in your mind, how do you refer to yourself? For example:
"I should pick the laundry later." or
"You should pick the laundry later." or something different?
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Vanguard » Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:59 pm UTC

Generally "I".

I would figure something is a little "off" about someone if they employ that second one.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby 6453893 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:23 am UTC

I can't think in complete sentences. I think of the whole sentence at once, and I may mentally mutter a couple of words, but I can't force myself to actively think out the whole sentence. If I had to do laundry, the sentence that forms is "I should really do the laundry", but I only think a fragment of it, like "...should really...", and I know what I meant to think. So yeah I guess I don't know what pronoun I use.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby InkL0sed » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:49 am UTC

I think both you and I at different times, depending on my attitude/degree of wryness

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby fwlbg » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:19 am UTC

I refer to myself as "Mr. Awesome". For example, if I want some food, I'll think "Mr. Awesome, kindly get some food." He doesn't always respond cordially, but he sure as hell gets food.

Seriously though, I do refer to myself as "Mr. Awesome" in my thoughts.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby poxic » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:26 am UTC

Normally, if there's a pronoun around and I'm actually (internally) voicing my thoughts, it's 'I'. If I'm angry at myself or otherwise suffering a low-self-esteem moment, it'll be the 'you' I learned so well in childhood. Usually followed by 'should' or 'shouldn't'.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby UnderRock » Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:43 am UTC

I use both 'you' and 'I' and, when I'm trying to make a decision, use both, debating what to do, which I also do when I'm doing something I should have the self control to not do, but do anyways. In the latter case think it's me trying to escape responsibility by making the "you" the one who just, say, spent the night killing time on the computer with a test the next day. I counter this by reminding myself that it's "we", then, more accurately, "I".
(I'm a bit strange sometimes. >.>)

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby animeHrmIne » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:20 am UTC

When I agree with myself, I use "I". When I'm arguing with myself or yelling at myself, I'll use "You."

e.g. "I need to do my homework" vs "You need to do your homework before you fall asleep."

I think "you" has a more argumentative or commanding connotation. Telling yourself that "you" need to do something is copying when an authority figure would tell you to do somehing; thinking something like "God, you're such a nerd" is like a taunt that you would expect if someone could hear the thought that prompted it.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby spupy » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:00 am UTC

Interesting, this thread went well beyond linguistics.

I personally use both "I" and "you". As someone said, "you" is mostly reserved for pissed-off-at-myself moments.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Dingbats » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:22 pm UTC

Never "you", always "I", or sometimes "we".

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Telestriation » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:46 am UTC

I channel every teacher I've ever had and drop the pronoun.

"Stop reading that article and do your laundry."

Now that I think, though, I have to say that when I'm talking about something I don't particularly feel strongly about, I say 'I'. "I should really go to the store..."
For anger, I employ 'you'.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Kalathalan » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:32 am UTC

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Last edited by Kalathalan on Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:08 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Karantalsis » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:36 am UTC

I mostly think in thoughts, just a general feeling of whats going on, some image, some sound, some sensation from each sense really plus other things which are purely mental (I assume).

On the odd occassion when I think in sentences I refer to myself as "we", although there is only one me as far as I know I use "we" and always have. Soemtimes I use it in speach as well, but I try not to as it confuses people.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby spupy » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:53 am UTC

In the title of this thread I didn't mean all thinking, but only this part where you are sort of consciously speaking in words in your mind - like talking but not using the vocal cords. There was a wikipedia article that had something written about this, but I can't seem to find it any more. :(
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Kalathalan » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:02 am UTC

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Last edited by Kalathalan on Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:08 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby spupy » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:32 am UTC

Kalathalan wrote:
spupy wrote:In the title of this thread I didn't mean all thinking, but only this part where you are sort of consciously speaking in words in your mind - like talking but not using the vocal cords. There was a wikipedia article that had something written about this, but I can't seem to find it any more. :(


Oops. Guess I got a little carried away there :D


No problem at all. :) I always find it interesting to peek in other peoples thought processes.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Hobgoblin » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:24 pm UTC

Vanguard wrote:Generally "I".

I would figure something is a little "off" about someone if they employ that second one.


Oh god, that had me stifling giggles for a bit. :lol:



Edit: ...and to answer your question, when thinking to myself, I don't think completely in words, but when thinking aloud, I speak to myself in third person, using an awful Polish accent. People hate me for it, but I think it's pretty funny.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby joek » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:32 pm UTC

I use:
I
He
Joe [name, incase any of you didn't notice]
You
One

More than most other people n this thread. And I always think in complete sentences/paragraphs.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Hobgoblin » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:33 pm UTC

joek wrote:I use:
I
He
Joe [name, incase any of you didn't notice]
You
One

More than most other people n this thread. And I always think in complete sentences/paragraphs.


So you're a lot like CollegeHumor's POV guy?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7hzcLZ7uRc
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Krakatoa » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:04 am UTC

"We" if it's a serious internal thought, which is weird, I guess. Otherwise it's just feelings, rather than whole sentences.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Hurduser » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:48 pm UTC

animeHrmIne wrote:When I agree with myself, I use "I". When I'm arguing with myself or yelling at myself, I'll use "You."

e.g. "I need to do my homework" vs "You need to do your homework before you fall asleep."


pretty much the same here, only that I refer to myself by my realname or a nickname.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby spupy » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:36 pm UTC

Hurduser wrote:
animeHrmIne wrote:When I agree with myself, I use "I". When I'm arguing with myself or yelling at myself, I'll use "You."

e.g. "I need to do my homework" vs "You need to do your homework before you fall asleep."


pretty much the same here, only that I refer to myself by my realname or a nickname.


Interesting. I use 1st and 2nd person pronouns in singular and plural, on different occasions, but I've never used my name. To me using my (nick)name sounds even more freaky than plural "you". :?
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:19 am UTC

Hrm, if I'm actually trying to reason something out to myself, I tend to think in dialogue, alternating between "Zach" and "You". (The other voice is thankfully unnamed.) "We" will come up if I'm trying to think of myself in relation to something else.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby animeHrmIne » Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:04 am UTC

spupy wrote:
Hurduser wrote:
animeHrmIne wrote:When I agree with myself, I use "I". When I'm arguing with myself or yelling at myself, I'll use "You."

e.g. "I need to do my homework" vs "You need to do your homework before you fall asleep."


pretty much the same here, only that I refer to myself by my realname or a nickname.


Interesting. I use 1st and 2nd person pronouns in singular and plural, on different occasions, but I've never used my name. To me using my (nick)name sounds even more freaky than plural "you". :?


I'm nameless in my head. Actually, unless I'm literally planning to verbalize vocalize what I'm thinking, everyone is. Internal dialoigue is I, you, we, they, he, and she. That's the one point in my head that I use feeling instead of words.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Bobber » Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:21 pm UTC

I was hesitant to post in this topic, since I figured that after reading through it, I would have been influenced by what I had read and my answer to the topical question would be untrue.

Now that I have given it some thought days after reading through the topic, I can conclude the following: I only refer to myself as I in my head. Everything else seems extremely weird to me. "You" is freaky: am I two people? Am I suffering from multiple personality disorder? Was I born with a hidden fetal twin inside my skull?
"Us" is even weirder to me: not only am I now two people, but I am them at the same time. Holy fuck that last sentence is weird.
If you are referring to yourself as "he" or "she", then there is probably something slightly wrong with you.

I don't even feel like commenting on "they".
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Gaydar2000SE » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:29 am UTC

'He/she/it/they', I make no distinction between genders and number mentally, or even 'persons', all people are 'he/she/it/they', I also make no distinction between the part and the whole so all objects are mass nouns third person... like Japanese in a sense. Like, when it is my hand that is relevant only, a part of 'me', I just see it as largely the same. Just as 'I' am again part of my family for instance.

But I have to say that I experience 'myself' more as a remote controlled piece of apparatus that I can use to experience this world than some thing that is an intricate part of 'me', where my mind is 'located', I wouldn't really know. Also, I don't recognise myself on pictures generally. All my dreams and memories are third person and my body is rarely featured in my dreams. Also, I make no mental distinction between 'memories' and things that I know happened. To me they are both things that I know happened by some way to infer them, be that my own senses or reading about them. In a sense I am the ultimate of reverse-egocentricism.
^ :/

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby black rook in rainy weather » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:11 am UTC

I think I switch between 'I' and 'You' quite often, almost indiscriminately.

But its always 'you' if I'm angry, shouting at myself, kind of thing.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby shutaka » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:29 pm UTC

I've never thought anyone ever addresses himself or herself with a pronoun. I've read through the topic but really cannot imagine even I, let alone you or they...
Perhaps it is because I think not in English, and the language I think allows me to use impersonal sentences (which is impossible in English, where you still have to have some subject of the sentence, at least formal). I think smth. like "this needs to be done", "time to go", "have to get up".... I use "I" only in cases like this: "I have to wash the dishes, then Ton will clean the room" - if there are more than one "doer"
Besides, it takes too much time to think through the whole correct sentence - thinking is more figurative than that.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Sasha » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:07 am UTC

I have referred to myself in all 3 persons.
Or sometimes I don't really refer to myself at all.
I mainly refer to myself while thinking as either he or we.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby the.coding.eye » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:32 am UTC

When I am reproaching myself I use my name: "the.coding.eye, you should really get some more work done." If I am just thinking I will either refer to myself using my name or the pronoun "I".
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:38 pm UTC

Omit pronouns and self-reference entirely. E.G.,

"Need to do laundry"
"What to make for dinner tonight..."
"Well, take the fish out a couple hours early so it can thaw"
"Still haven't gotten that gift."

Does anyone else do this, or am the only one?

It's grammatically incorrect, since they're not commands but (usually) declarative sentences with subjects omitted. Also, this is when actually thinking in complete sentences. Usually it's half symbols, abstract thoughts, and actions. KF
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby thicknavyrain » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:24 pm UTC

Usually "I" but if I need to inspire myself it turns to "you"
"You can do it! Just a couple more metres!" etc...
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby mr_pathetic » Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:31 am UTC

Depends on my current level of crazy.... it varies... :wink:

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby 6453893 » Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:31 am UTC

mr_pathetic wrote:Depends on my current level of crazy.... it varies... :wink:


Assuming this isn't an attempt at a cutesy shtick, please explain. I am intrigued.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Secateurs » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:34 am UTC

I rarely use 'I'. Most often, I use 'you' - like someone said, it seems a little off now that I think about it, but that's just the way I've usually thought. To add emphasis, I'll use my nickname, followed by the 'you need to...' construction.
But then it's a problem of which nickname to use, seeing as I have about... 4 that people use regularly. So, I use one for when I'm doing chemistry or maths (because that's what those teachers call me), one for when it's just me (because that's my preferred nickname), one when I'm doing sports, and one randomly depending on my mood.

I've never really used third person, or third person plural. And because english doesn't really have a separate 'you plural' pronoun, I have no conscious recollection of using that.

Actually, thinking about it, I use 'I' every now and then - I can't think 'you don't know' because it sounds strange to me. I'm going to be really aware of this from now on xD
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Gaydar2000SE » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:58 pm UTC

You people really talk in a voice mentally do you?

Is it the same as your real life voice as you experience it?

I read some where though that picture thinkers are ultimately disadvantaged because they can never communicate in the language they internally think in. And indeed I find that a lot of concepts I cannot express because the words aren't there in any language I speak.
^ :/

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby 6453893 » Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:22 pm UTC

Gaydar2000SE wrote:You people really talk in a voice mentally do you?

Is it the same as your real life voice as you experience it?

I read some where though that picture thinkers are ultimately disadvantaged because they can never communicate in the language they internally think in. And indeed I find that a lot of concepts I cannot express because the words aren't there in any language I speak.


Language gives us the ability to think. People born unable to hear report thinking and dreaming in sign language. If you can't put a concept in to words, it reflects your mastery of the language, not the capacity of the language itself.

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby animeHrmIne » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:19 pm UTC

Gaydar2000SE wrote:You people really talk in a voice mentally do you?

Is it the same as your real life voice as you experience it?

I read some where though that picture thinkers are ultimately disadvantaged because they can never communicate in the language they internally think in. And indeed I find that a lot of concepts I cannot express because the words aren't there in any language I speak.


My internal voice is very similar to my voice as I hear when I'm talking, only smoother and a bit deeper. I also "hear" my talking voice as coming from my throat (vibrations and all that jazz), whereas I hear my thinking voice from near my ears (Any sensation I have, whether it me sight, taste, math (the non-linear mental kind), or imagination, my mind thinks it's in a different spot in my head. Like sight is behind my eyes, but picturing something lays a bit above and a bit behind my ears.). And I happen to be a person who sounds completely different in recordings that I hear myself.
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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby bbctol » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:58 am UTC

Third person, and British accent.

...what? thinking in accents is normal, right?

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Re: When you think, how do you refer to yourself?

Postby Hurduser » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:11 pm UTC

spupy wrote:
Hurduser wrote:
animeHrmIne wrote:When I agree with myself, I use "I". When I'm arguing with myself or yelling at myself, I'll use "You."

e.g. "I need to do my homework" vs "You need to do your homework before you fall asleep."


pretty much the same here, only that I refer to myself by my realname or a nickname.


Interesting. I use 1st and 2nd person pronouns in singular and plural, on different occasions, but I've never used my name. To me using my (nick)name sounds even more freaky than plural "you". :?

You don't do something like this:
"HURDie, where's the Schlüsselbund?" [keys]
"No f***ing idea, $REALNAME, Rechner daneben?" [computer next-to]
"Ach ja! Here!" [oh yes]
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