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He thought to himself

Posted by R. Berg on October 18, 2006

In Reply to: He thought to himself posted by RRC on October 18, 2006

: : : : Does anyone know from where the nonsensical phrase "he thought to himself" came? Thanks. Jonathan

: : : I don't know. It's just that there are some superfluous words. "He thought" says it all.

: : I believe many people have independently invented the redundant expression "I thought to myself," rather than adopting it by viral contagion. Maybe, when thinking, they experience themselves as split into an inner speaker and an inner listener. You'd be hard put to find the first use. ~rb

: It mirrors the perfectly logical "I said to myself". It's just done a bit more quietly.

But it isn't logical. You can say something to yourself or to your friend. You can't think something to your friend. ~rb