Thursday, June 21, 2007

Highly Impressionable

This will be a short one, but I feel compelled to post something other than YouTube clips and links to writing challenges at least once this week.

Have you ever hung around with someone so much that you begin to subconsciously take on some of their speech patterns and mannerisms? I remember the first time I was really aware of this phenomenon was my sophomore year of college, after Little Man Stud asked Flunky, Wrath, G'ovich, and myself "Why do you do that?"

"Do what?" we replied.

"That thing with your hands."

Turns out, over the months that we had been hanging out together, the gestures which Flunky and Wrath used for emphasis when speaking had sort of merged together and been adopted by us as a whole; we had been totally unaware of this adoption of behavior until it was pointed out by someone outside of our circle. Once aware of it, we all strove mightily to keep from doing it anymore.

The reason this is on my mind is because I have recently noticed that certain turns of phrase have entered my speech patterns without me full volition. The one that I keyed in on is the use of the word "bud" when talking to the guys: "You doing okay, bud? Talk to you later, bud. Hey, bud, what's up?" Both PigPen and Li'l Random use it quite a bit, so it's understandable that it has started to replace my former default of addressing the guys as "sir," which itself was a byproduct of my having watched An Evening with Kevin Smith II: Evening Harder wherein Smith talks about how Jason Mewes was responsible for spreading the "sir" speech meme among all of their circle of friends. Yes, I am easily influenced; after hanging around The Cardinal only a couple of times, I had already adopted his exclamation "Oh, good night!" as my own.

I'm sure if I thought about it some more examples would pop into my head, but I'm really sleepy, and a bit drained mentally due to multiple non-bloggable events,* so I'm just going to leave this with one of my rare calls for input from the masses; any of you have any examples of such behavior? And for Squiggly, the Singles resident psychological disorder diagnostician, is allowing your behavior to be subliminally influenced by the behavior of others really normal?**

*Yes, I know people hate when I do that, but that's the most you're getting out of me on the subject
***Yup, that's right: inside joke alert.


Squiggly said...

yes, it is in fact, normal*, and is nearly impossible to escape. actually, it has its own name- vicarious learning. I believe it was Vygotsky that coined that term... maybe. moral is, yes, its normal**

*(thought inside head: normal)
**(thought inside head again: normal) :)

Redneck. Diva. said...

I do it and have done it since, I know, my first freshman year at NEO when I worked with a girl who had the most charming deep voice with carried serious twang. By a few weeks into the semester, I could imitate her voice dead on without realizing I was doing it.

I imitate Queen Tammy now.

Tater says it's because I have no life and am pathetic. I like to think it's because I'm Yeah. Cool.

Redneck. Diva. said...

*which carried serious twang. Not with.

Damn fingers have a mind of their own. Which is scary....fingers with a mind.....