WATCH: Man with Hodor's condition can only say TONO


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His support group includes Hodor, Groot and several dozen Pokémon.


I’m pretty sure this is how I sound to my dog and, with growing frequency, my children.


After reading Carl Sagan’s “Broca’s Brain”, I became fascinated at how strangely specific some afflictions are, from facial recognition to specific memories.

I had a head injury ten-plus years ago, and my long-term perception of time is that anything that happened more than a year ago is automatically remembered as ten years, no matter when it actually happened. If I really think about it, I can sort out the chronology, but on the surface, it’s all or nothing on the calendar.

I hope he did well after he moved to London, on Mars, outside of Tono.


So, is this Groot’s problem, too? Though Groot DOES get a whole sentence…

I had an aunt who lost her language to Alzheimer’s – she would stand next to my uncle at parties, smiling, nodding and making polite conversational noises. Most people never noticed.

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I get that way when the Whiskey bottle is empty, mine sounds a little bit like " fuck it".


I wonder if it would be possible to get a fair idea of his intentions if you were to spend enough time with him. The facial and body language, the intonation and stress (however slight) all seem to still be there.

It’s not like the whole meaning is still embedded in the subtle frequency shifting of tonality ala Groot but there’s still a bunch of information there, that, given the correct context; someone familiar with his patterns of speech might be able to translate for him.

Which makes me think, could he learn sign language? Or that hand to hand language that deaf and blind people use? He can still write?


The counting past 12 thing is amazing to watch.

Can’t just pull ‘four’ out of his hat but he can count up to and past it if starting from one. Which makes me wonder, do we store number lines as one long word with appropriate pauses in pronunciation? Counting to ten or twelve may very well have been one of the very first ‘words’ he ever learned.

Ah well, better dive in, there goes another couple of hours.


And can he use AAC devices?

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Timmy. Timmmmmaaaayyy.


That thud was my jaw hitting the floor. Wow.

I’d previously seen a documentary where a man could not read from text but could write that text out with no problems. He eventually figured out how to re-write the letters on the back of his teeth with his tongue and ‘read’ the letter impressions there using touch as the input sense.

I’ll try and find the video. (Have not been good at this lately)

Ach. I tried but my google-fu is weak. Will keep looking, albeit more intermittently.

Sounds a little bit like my code. TODO TODO TODO TODO. TODO TODO. TODO.


I am curious how common this ailment is; this is clearly a very old recording, but this man seems like a very intelligent person…that is to say everything is working just fine in his mind with the exception of his speech. In contrast, Hodor seems to be portrayed as if he is mentally retarded as well as afflicted by this speech impairment.

Interesting stuff. By the way, are you sure your head injury was ten years ago…? :wink:



I once watched an entire big-release Hollywood movie starring two young men with this affliction. Maybe you remember it.




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