Echolalia is the unsolicited repetition of vocalizations made by another person […]. In its profound form it is automatic and effortless.

That’s what the Wikipedia entry on echolalia says. When I was growing up we called it “TV talk” or “shut the fuck up”. I used echolalia from very early on as a form of (what I now know was:) social scripting to be able to move freely among the other humans. I remember having conversations - full on normal adult conversations - as a very young child. This wasn’t to say I understood or even knew the words I was saying but I do remember doing it. I also remember being told I spoke “full sentences” at a very young age. This, was echolalia.

I realized that I did something I never had an explanation for but it was very obvious - to me - now that I knew it was a thing. I took phrases, words, and bits of information and repeated it back in a different order to communicate. Well, that opened up a can of worms because then I realized (as did my partner) that I still do this today. I will often (I’d say at least once a day) use quotes from songs or movies to try to communicate what’s going on. I’ll do it without even realizing that’s what I’m doing. I mean really, there’s not much of a doubt I do this considering the first conversation my partner and I ever had consisted of Ghostbusters quotes. Just today I said “I looked at the trap Ray” and about an hour later I was thinking about echolalia and realized I was actually expressing anxiety earlier when I said that.

Welp, I then went through some conversations I’ve had as an adult and saw that there are a lot of times I’m putting words together prior to speaking them as they are formed from other things either I’ve said or I’ve heard said. As a form of scripting I use echolalia daily. When I asked my partner about how she talks I was shocked to find out that’s not how everyone talks and some people can just say words.

What … the … absolute … fuck …

You people are weird. :)

Updated August 13th: It was driving me nuts that the subtitle of this post wasn’t also “echolalia” so I had to pop back here and fix it.