Sunday 29 October 2017

Nerd Church - The Book Eater

Confession time: to me the term 'book eater' isn't exactly a metaphor.

Don't panic! I do not, in fact, actually chew, swallow, and consume books. There is no paper in my stomach (as far as I'm aware!)

book and strawberries picture

But I taste books.

Not just books - words, sentences, paragraphs. All of them roll around on my tongue with their various flavours.

And for a long time, I figured everyone else was the same. It's only in recent years that the sneaking suspicion has crept in - other people don't taste words.

To be fair, how was I supposed to know that other people don't know the taste of words?

When people use phrases like 'the words tasted sour in my mouth,' when they talk about eating books and 'delicious' prose...?

Dudes, how was I supposed to know you were all being metaphorical?

Mean Girls 'It's like I have ESPN or something' gif

It's a form of synaesthesia, called lexical-gustatory synaesthesia

Yup, on top of all my other uniqueness, my wiring upstairs apparently makes me a synaesthete.

I may also have a form of musical/sound synaesthesia relating to a blue-ish colour and shape/texture/layers... I'm still trying to figure that one out to explain it to people.

Some songs I can only hear one layer of at a time - and some songs I can hear all of the layers as they weave (oddly enough, I prefer those ones.)

My music teacher used to try to get us to identify instruments in music pieces, and then get irritated with me when I could identify the voice and one or two instruments.

Synaesthesia is a 'blending' of senses that apparently you non-synnies don't have.

It's a form of neurodiversity, and is often considered to be a disorder or disability.

But... like the more famous types of neurodiversity, such as autism, it both is and isn't a disability.

Put simply, it's a difference in perception; the way I experience the world is different to the way most of you do.

To me, the way words bind together in sentences makes them taste differently.

Sometimes they combine in one big flavour, sometimes all of the words and their syntax (order) in a sentence will affect the taste of the words around them.

Sometimes the way the words are used - whether they're being yelled or whispered, whether they're in anger or happiness - also affects their flavour.

The word 'Milan' (and the Italian 'Milano') is glorious; it's the freshest, most mouth-watering bread you've ever eaten. I really don't... you don't taste that...? Really...?

That's so weird to me. That you guys can't taste the word Milan.

Of course, some words aren't so pleasant.

For me, the word 'spiritual' *shudders* - ugh! IT TASTES SOOOO BAD!!! Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Urgh!

Oddly enough, I don't use those words that often! Lol.

I hope you guys realise that I essentially just licked a metal pole drizzled in vinegar just to give you an example.

#JustSaying. Don't say I don't care about you! 👅

So, there's clearly a lot going on in my brain...

...what with the depression/anxiety, the migraines and enhanced photo-sensitivity (technically light sensitivity or photophobia, but if you say that people think you're scared of cameras) and the dyscalculia!

*laughs awkwardly*

Honestly, though, the synaesthesia is just... me.

It's just one of the things that make me who I am - and honestly, as far as I'm concerned, it's not a negative thing. It's a gift.

After all, I get to eat books! 😉😋

Any synnies among you my nerdlets? Let me know! :)

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeArrBookNerd, on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin, and on Google+. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

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  1. Wait, are you telling me you didn't even know you were synesthetic? Hahaha I'm sorry but I actually find that funny (in a totally laughing-with-you way, I promise!). I first learned about synesthesia because I had a close friend in high school who had it. I've always thought it was super interesting! Though I can see how there are some downsides, like the bad tasting words for you. I'm sorry if my comments ever taste bad!

    1. No, I didn't know! How tf was I supposed to know?! I'd only heard of the types of synaesthesia which involve letters having colours and stuff like that, and I was like, 'oh, that's interesting,' and moved on with my life! Granted, I did wonder why the hell people looked at me weird when I told them I didn't like a word because it tasted bad... but I thought they just liked that word! XD

      Look, clearly my 20s is where I realise what all the unique cr*p about me actually is! I've now realised I'm dyscalculic, sexually fluid, and a syneasthete. Sure, I've had all those things my whole life, but I didn't know what they were! *laughs awkwardly again* - I have a fair few years of my 20s left, so who knows what's next?!

      In honesty though, apparently most synnies don't realise they're different 'til someone basically tells us about it! A lot of people in our twenties going: oh! So you don't do that...? Weird! XD

      And your comments are usually an over-arching blackcurrant flavour :) They're lovely.

    2. *synaesthete - got the letters mixed up! Lol.

    3. That makes sense, that you wouldn't even realize what you're experiencing is different until someone points it out. Still funny though :-P And hey, it's kind of cool that even in your 20s you're still making exciting new discoveries about yourself :-D

      I don't actually know what blackcurrant is but now I am very curious!

    4. How can you not know what blackcurrant is?! Do they not have that in America?! HOW CAN THAT BE A THING?! ;)

  2. That’s a really interesting gift you have, Cee! I have never heard of synaesthesia before but thank you for sharing your experiences. I think it’s an amazing gift you have, it’s part of what makes you incredibly unique!

  3. I love this. I think it would be a unique gift. I often makes comments about reading this or that to cleanse my palate before diving into another dark thriller.

    1. Ha, see - food metaphors everywhere! How was I supposed to know other people can't taste it?!

      (If you're interested, to me the word 'palate' tastes like the last bit of an ice lolly - I think they're called popsickles in America.)

  4. I know of synthesia because of a book I read when I was a child and I can just remember thinking: that's so cool! I would love to be able to taste and feel colours like the main character does! So basically, I think this kind of mental situation is pretty admirable? It's interesting. And would likely make for some really cool poetry or stories.

    1. I'm not sure about admirable - but I def. appreciate it now that I know other people can't!

      The problem is that explaining the tastes to people is quite difficult - because the words I'm using to describe the tastes don't taste like the taste I'm describing! Lol.

  5. "The word 'Milan' (and the Italian 'Milano') is glorious; it's the freshest, most mouth-watering bread you've ever eaten. I really don't... you don't taste that...? Really...?"
    LOL, I'm glad there's an Italian word/place that tastes so good to you! Though I've never even gone to Milan LOL.

    I knew about your synesthesia from a comment you posted on my blog once. Back when you wrote this post, I didn't know you yet...

    "The problem is that explaining the tastes to people is quite difficult - because the words I'm using to describe the tastes don't taste like the taste I'm describing! Lol."
    LOL, indeed! But it makes sense.

    1. Well I'm glad you know me now ;)

      And yes, Milan is an amazing word! Nom! (A lot of Italian words are bread-like actually... it's like a baked-fresh language! Lol.)

    2. Lol, see to me that's just like if you said 'Italian sounds like Italian' and I answered 'interesting' lol :)


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