Inspired by Rock and Roll by The Velvet Underground:
It's always now. When somebody talks, one only hears what they are saying one instant at a time but we manage to understand things a word at a time. Not only that but we hear
things one word at a time. At least it feels that way. It's not a normal kind of memory that makes this possible. We don't play it back in our minds to understand. It's all held in the mind at once. When we read, we see a word all at once. It is much easier to understand how we can see a word all at once than it is to understand how we can hear a word all at once. The written word is all right there in front of us all at one time. The spoken word is not there to be heard all at once.
When one repeats a word over and over it loses its meaning and we just hear the sound in the word and not the whole. It then becomes funny. Think of the word George. Seeing it in print it seems like an everyday word. But if I spell it Jorj, you are forced to sound it out. Now it becomes a funny name. This works for all words. I think when we repeat a word, or sound it out, the word doesn't get processed by the language part of the brain. This part of the brain must have some way of letting us experience a word all at once.