Ever since I was a kid, I've talked to myself. Generally, I've done it to solve a problem, but I also often do it nowadays to determine how something will sound aloud (this is particularly important if you are trying to do anything poetic, possibly upsetting, or a case where tone and wording is otherwise extremely important). It helps me solve problems because it's like putting the information and situation down on paper; it lays everything out to look at (it's not as good as paper for hard problems, but it is much faster).

So then why is it so frowned upon when it is so useful? It causes funny looks to be flashed or quickened walking by those around. People who know me and hang around with me tell me to stop because it's a really bad thing to do. Why is that?

For some reason, talking to yourself has grown associated not with problem solving, but with insanity. Schzophrenics and the insane in general are stereotyped as mumbling, whispering, or speaking to themselves.

It's annoying how a group of people disliked or feared by society have caused a whole activity to be deemed only for the mad.

Of course, that sort of problem has parallels in other activities, like, say, using Napster: "Oh, many d00dz use Napster to download copyrighted music, which is bad, therefore all people who use Napster are bad!"

please forgive me for that last; Napster was just the first example to pop into my head for obvious reasons