going through things "verbally" in your head, gets used more often than you notice, I bet.
When writing stuff (like this article) normally, you play through it in your mind before writing it.
When reading, often, the relaxed thing to do is internally sound it out
And heres the real kicker that almost noone notices: When plain *thinking*, there is a tendancy to do the same thing.
I believe they are all related.
To look at the extreme end: start thinking about a subject. At the same time, notice HOW you are thinking. Are you playing out a pseudo-verbal monolog? I believe most people do. However, it is possible to "think" about something, without actual words. Many people probably just do this on an emotional level, sounding out how the FEEL about something. But it is possible to actually rationalize, without internal words.
The trouble with this is, you tend to lose a certain amount of processing on the info.
If you speak this way, it may result in the phenomemon of "opening your mouth without thinking", aka "putting your foot in it".
Similarly with writing.
For reading, if you get really good at it, you can sort of whisk through things, but you lose the texture of the thing. For example, if you read a novel this way, you're going to miss the major point of enjoyment of it - having your brain play around with mental imagery, etc.
I was trying to think of an analogy for what is happening, and I think I've just though of a really really appropriate one. (unfortunately, only techies will get it, but...)
It's like dropping the indexes on a database table, and doing "LOAD DATA INFILE 'xxxx'".
Sure, you "load up" the data really fast. But it's just data. You dont have all the interconnections, triggers, and fun stuff like that. It takes time to generate all that other stuff around the raw data.
BTW: the whole semi-"verbal" thing, is because we need the verbal side of the brain, to do the extra analysis of the subject matter, methinks.
pure thought, and also the base level of reading methinks , is the hard logic, symbolic manipulation part of the brain. The other stuff is most related to the aural part of the brain, I think.