26 February 2013

Four lexical gustatory examples

For anyone new to this blog or who doesn't know, I have two mild forms of synesthesia: sound color (I see colors when I hear certain sounds, notes or songs) and lexical gustatory (tasting certain things, or craving tastes, when I hear certain sounds or words) - I'm going to abbreviate this LG for now. The latter is much more fun, but as I said, they're both mild and don't surface that often. Well! Yesterday, I discovered a new LG synesthesia cue for me: the word "stickers" makes me taste and/or crave gummy candy. Neither the pearly kind nor the sour kind - the classic, transparent/jelly kind. I excitedly tweeted this, got into a mini conversation with Mikey Il about it, and then realized that sharing four of my lexical gustatory cues with you guys might be fun.

Lexical gustatory synesthesia

Media channel is celery. This one came up between 2 and 5 years ago. I'm thinking it was when I was still at Naked NY, since the nature of our work had us talking about media channels all the time. This is a very refreshing, crunchy pair of words for me.

Stickers is gummy candy. I have of course heard the word before, but for some reason when I read it out loud from an email yesterday, I flung up in my seat, ran to the kitchen, and ate a bunch of gummy Vitamin Cs and ginger chews. Every time I've uttered or heard the word since (I've been saying it a lot), I have the same sensation, taste, or craving.

Check is Doritos. Well, sort of. This one is fairly old, and I first remember it happening in middle school some time. It's not only the word check, but most words with a hard "ch" sound, and an "E" somewhere in the word. But the E has to be pronounceable. It can either be a short E, like in checkers, check, or Chester, or a long E, like in cheese, cheat, or cheek. Soft "ch" words don't count ("chenille" doesn't do anything for me in an LG way, for example, other than picturing a pile of cooked, blue-tinted glass noodles, but I'm not sure what that means either!? That literally just happened.).

Couch is my first LG cue ever, when I was about five years old. It happened while listening to a Teddy Ruxpin tape. There was one story where he and Grubby, and maybe some other characters were exploring the inside of a couch, and it was this big adventure. Every time Teddy Ruxpin said couch, I got this desire to eat something. But I couldn't figure out what, for years and years. Almost 20 years later, on the way to White Plains for a client meeting, a team I was on stopped to pick up lunch. The second I bit into my first-ever potato empanada, I yelled out loud, "OH MY GOD, IT'S COUCH!" I didn't realize this was due to a form of synesthesia yet, so it was a little awkward explaining what the hell I meant by my outburst.

Fun? Should I do more of these? Do any of you guys have any forms of synesthesia? Please tell me. I've never met or spoken to one before.

6 comments:

  1. this is super interesting. please keep it coming!

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  2. my friend kim associates letters with colors. so everyone has their own color depending on what their name starts with.

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  3. Well! I can't believe there are people like me!! I had always experienced this word-food association since I was a kid. When I told my family members about this, they totally pooh-poohed it:( They thought I was nuts or something. In fact I thought that everyone had this thing until I googled it up online. For me, the sensations are rather hard to describe and i need to think for a while before coming up with the right foods. Some of these foods I haven't even tasted them before. For example: Richard is persimmon, Sophia is sour grape juice, Sophie is melted chocolate, Christie is rice puffs/ muesli bars, Samantha is dry lavender ice cream, Simon is orange/cola flavoured ice lolly, Freddy is hash browns, Ashley is black fungus, Penelope and Violet is marshmallows, Beth is chocolate marshmallows, william is half melted ice cream, John is nuts, Johannes is almonds, Claire is thick whipped cream and so on. For months of the year: January is jam tarts, February is egg custard, March is French beans, April is apricots, June is sour wine, July is bubblegum. Eleven is bland and sparkly, like water. Twelve is a sour lime candy twist. When I think of blue, I think of gooey egg yolks. My dad says"sky", my brother says "water". And I go like"what?". It's lovely to know that there are people like me out there:)

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    Replies
    1. Sylvia, your associations are out of this world delicious. I love them; thank you so much for sharing. Half melted ice cream is SO specific! And I love your months. So good.

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  4. NO. CELERY IS CELERY. DORITOS ARE DORITOS. GUMMI BEARS ARE STICKERS BECAUSE GUMMI BEARS*ARE* STICKY. GET A LIFE. I REALLY HAVE THIS CONDITION AND ANYTIME I SEE THE COLOR RED I HEAR ORDERS FROM THE DARK LORD THAT THE END IS NIGH

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