I've been a musician since I first learned to walk, which means I've dealt with a lot of smart people who didn't happen to be avid readers.
One of them, who is now a famous designer, very rarely read books and I doubt she thought in words as much as she did images and the nuances of shape and color. She sometimes had trouble expressing herself verbally, but anyone who knew her was aware of her intelligence.
My current girlfriend and her sister are so grounded in art history and technique that I find myself getting quiet whenever they discuss the virtues of various painters. It's I who feels less literate in that setting.
If you're a writer, it sometimes helps to get away from friends who read because overheard conversations run closer to common speech. On a given day, you can learn neologisms and newly invented expressions fresh from the lab of your local street.
Here's one I've always remembered:
"Hey, Professor! Always Good just punched Mr. Wiggles into arithmetic!"
Translation: One kid hit the other and the second was so angry he began to count backwards from ten.
Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 09-06-2012 at 07:52 AM.