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View Diary: Gabrielle Giffords, and the horror of aphasia (92 comments)

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  •  My Dog Frank (6+ / 0-)
    In Oliver Sack’s book, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat” he wrote of patients in the brain-damaged ward watching one of Ronald Reagan’s speeches.

    Sacks wrote, “What was going on? A roar of laughter from the aphasia ward, just as the president’s speech was coming on, and they all had been so eager to hear the president speaking … there he was, the old charmer, the actor, with his practiced rhetoric, his emotional appeal … and all the patients were convulsed with laughter.”

    They were aphasiacs. People who had lost the ability to understand the meaning of words strung together. But they still retained an ability to understand the “feeling-tone” of communication. “Thus it was the grimaces, the false gestures, and above all, the false tones and cadences of the voice, which rang false for these wordless but immensely sensitive patients. It was to these (for them) most glaring, even grotesque, incongruities and improprieties that my aphasic patients responded, undeceived and undeceivable by words. That is why they laughed at the president’s speech.”

    If brain damaged patients understood Reagan was a liar, what does that say about the majority of Americans who elected that clown twice?

    From the Post My Dog Frank by Bob Alexander

    You have the feeling tone. Your writing is dang better than mine. Good luck.

    An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second..Jefferson's Letter to Peter Carr

    by JugOPunch on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:53:59 PM PST

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