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||Leak-back effect. The time words remain in 'air'.
A long time ago I secured for my sociology courses a videotape
featuring a sociolinguist. The speaker was an older lady who sat in
a rocking chair and dispensed valuable information. One of the
things she said is that words have a leak-back effect. So, if
warriors say, for example, ''A number of people in Iraq were killed in
the theater,'' then a listener hears ''theater'' and it ''leaks back'' to
''kill'' and the horror of killing lightens and is made more palatable.
Googling, I don't see anything about this ''leak-back'' effect. Maybe
it's called something else now? I need to have this information for a
book I am writing where it is oh-so-relevant!
Also, I have read that words (maybe it's ''sound''?) lasts for six
seconds before dissipating. That's why we listen to someone and a
short time afterward (before the elapse of six seconds), it dawns on
us what the person really said: ''Huh? Did I hear you say what I
think I heard you say . . . ?''
Can you provide me with links where these two phenomena are
briefly discussed? ASAP, please?
Lee Campbell, PhD.
I don't know about a "leak-back" effect, unless it's related to the old idea of a
semantic differential, in which the connotation of words can have an effect on
neighboring words.The second phenomenon you mentioned has to do with short-term
or working memory. The flip side of that is that if someone interrupts you while
you're talking, it's often difficult to get back to what you were saying.
Susan D Fischer
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