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The taste of words???

GUEST,little john cameron 14 Dec 01 - 01:15 PM
Clinton Hammond 14 Dec 01 - 01:20 PM
Gary T 14 Dec 01 - 01:28 PM
Amos 14 Dec 01 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,little john cameron 14 Dec 01 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,colwyn dane 14 Dec 01 - 01:42 PM
Mrrzy 14 Dec 01 - 01:42 PM
catspaw49 14 Dec 01 - 01:44 PM
Steve in Idaho 14 Dec 01 - 01:53 PM
catspaw49 14 Dec 01 - 02:37 PM
Uncle_DaveO 14 Dec 01 - 05:38 PM
GUEST 14 Dec 01 - 05:52 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Dec 01 - 06:01 PM
CarolC 14 Dec 01 - 06:30 PM
Jack the Sailor 14 Dec 01 - 06:37 PM
Bill D 14 Dec 01 - 07:00 PM
Bill D 14 Dec 01 - 07:12 PM
CarolC 14 Dec 01 - 07:30 PM
Helen 14 Dec 01 - 07:36 PM
Amos 14 Dec 01 - 08:17 PM
CarolC 14 Dec 01 - 08:26 PM
catspaw49 14 Dec 01 - 08:32 PM
little john cameron 14 Dec 01 - 08:48 PM
Mr Happy 11 Jun 02 - 12:31 PM
Gamine 11 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM
C-flat 11 Jun 02 - 01:36 PM
Jeanie 11 Jun 02 - 02:36 PM
mousethief 11 Jun 02 - 02:52 PM
Gamine 11 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM
KingBrilliant 12 Jun 02 - 04:43 AM
CarolC 12 Jun 02 - 04:57 AM
John Hardly 12 Jun 02 - 07:52 AM
Fibula Mattock 12 Jun 02 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 12 Jun 02 - 01:40 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jun 02 - 01:52 PM
Wolfgang 12 Jun 02 - 02:00 PM
Gamine 12 Jun 02 - 02:06 PM
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Subject: The taste of words???
From: GUEST,little john cameron
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 01:15 PM

James Wannerton has a rare condition which makes him taste the words he hears or reads.

The 42-year-old from Blackpool tastes Rice Krispies when someone says 'motorcycle' and garibaldi biscuits when the word 'key' is used.

He eats sweets and drinks a lot to help him combat the condition, which is known as synaesthesia.

He told The Mirror: "I used to think it was normal to associate words with taste and thought everyone had it.

"When I recited the Lord's Prayer at school it used to bring all kinds of flavours into my mouth. For instance, the word 'trespass' tastes of bacon.

"I've chosen and dumped girlfriends because of how their names tasted. The name Tracy tastes of flaky pastry. But the name of my current girlfriend, Jannette, is neutral and doesn't taste of anything."

He added: "Few doctors have heard of synaesthesia. Even if they have, they can't help me. There's no cure."

Ellis Douek, a sense expert from Guy's Hospital, London, said: "We don't understand synaesthesia very well.

"It's very rare but could be linked with memory. These people have an extra link between the brain and taste or smell. Unfortunately, it's not possible to say why it happens and no-one knows which part of the brain is affected."

Story filed: 07:49 Thursday 6th September 2001

Whit dae ye think o' that then???
ljc


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 01:20 PM

I wonder how "defenestrate" tastes?

LOL!!!

At last, a guy who can honestly answer whether he likes the taste of "cunnilingus"!

,-)


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Gary T
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 01:28 PM

Adds a new dimension to the prospect of eating one's words.


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 01:33 PM

If there's any commonality in his links he could become one hell of a poet!!! He could write quatrains about steel mills, or laundromats, and have his readers dreaming of pate de foie gras!!

A


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: GUEST,little john cameron
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 01:40 PM

Clinton,ye're certainly a bit o' a "cunning linquist yersel'. Smells fishy tae me. ljc


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: GUEST,colwyn dane
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 01:42 PM

I read somewhere that George Gershwin when he used to entertain at parties, by playing the piano, had the ability
to play tunes that others associated with certain tastes or sensations, 'Play the one that tastes like onions'
he would ponder a moment and then start tinkling out the tune the guy had forgotten or didn't know the name of.
Or somebody else would request,'Play the one that feels like this' and the guy would run his fingers across
Gershwin's shoulder blades; George would play a few notes and then into the requested tune.

A gift or a burden?

Just my 2 percent.
CD.


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 01:42 PM

There are people who see shapes when they hear things or taste things, I recall someone saying that The curlicues in the chicken need to be unwound when it was too lemony, the guy who had to pull over instantly if that Alert tone beeped on his car radio as his entire visual field would just go orange, and so on. Fascinating stuff. I have a theory that it is a weakening of myelination somewhere around the thalamus, but have never seen any data to confirm or deny this possibility. We did have a researcher here at UVA who was studying it, the letter E being dark blue and narrow, for instance, but I can't recall who he was or I'd send you to his researcher...


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 01:44 PM

The guy never married because the word "love" tastes like the bottom of a cat box.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 01:53 PM

We do an anger management group where I work and use the "How does your anger taste?" as one means for people to stop and figure out why they are angry. In a couple of the shops it has been used with great success to get people to see the funny side of the situation.

I don't think it is the same though. About all we taste around here are lunch, jet fuel, hydraulic oil, and then only if it drops on us.

Steve


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 02:37 PM

There are about a zillion smartass replies going through my mind and each one more vulgar than the rest........I think there's a Cletus story in here somehow too..............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 05:38 PM

Seems to me there was a previous thread --a long one-- here about this. Inster-ting!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 05:52 PM

Bizarre stuff indeed!


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 06:01 PM

Any difference in taste among these?
folk song, folk-song, folksong


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 06:30 PM

Anger has a slightly metalic taste, a bit like the taste food takes on if it's left in a cast iron frying pan for too long. (The word 'anger' does. I'm not angry right now, so I don't know how the feeling tastes.)


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 06:37 PM

If there is anything to this then there is a market for a word to taste writers dictionary. but....

I guess it is a learned thing but I aways associated the smell of bacon to the word "bacon"; Lillacs to "Lillac" etc. I can't say vanilla or chocolate without thinking of the taste.

Does this guy just has the associations mixed up?

Good joke Spaw!


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 07:00 PM

...so the 'sound' makes him taste?? Then do dialects and different tonal qualities change the flavor, like adding spices to a basic taste?..wow...makes me wonder if any words 'taste' like the object mentioned..:"Roast Beef" tasting like strawberries would be VERY strange!


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 07:12 PM

well, a search on " synaesthesia" gets LOTS of hits..it seems to have various forms and not be that rare.....and I'd bet my boots that it is related to many instances of visions, religious experiences, mental illness etc. throught the years! (wonder what kids with autism are hearing, tasting, seeing when they try to cope with the world!)

why do we not hear (or taste) more about this? (well, if you do that search, you WILL..


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 07:30 PM

This is interesting stuff. Bill D, I did a search on 'synaesthesia'. The first site I looked into is a nightmare for someone with attention deficit disorder. The background is incredibly cluttered and they've got stuff moving around all over the place.

Apparently I do experience this to a certain extent, although I never really thought about it before. I've still got the metalic taste in my mouth from the question "How does your anger taste". (And I've got a crushing headache from that 'synaesthesia' site.) I also experience smells that aren't really there from time to time.

Attention deficit disorder is a distant relative of autism, so if there is a link between autism and synaesthesia, maybe that's why I experience it to a small extent. I'm not going to search for references about this connection, though. My head hurts too much.


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Helen
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 07:36 PM

In synaesthesia, each person who has it has his/her own associated responses. So writing books to stimulate the taste or visual responses wouldn't work unless it was an electronic book which you could set up specifically with your own "dictionary of correspondences" before you read it.

Fun idea, huh?


Synesthesia

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=19884&messages=5

It came up in a thread in early 1999 but I can't remember the name of the thread.

Helen


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Amos
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 08:17 PM

I think "mellifluous" tastes like caramel, while "raindrop" tastes a bit like Aqvavit. For a really rich, tangy, smoky, deep purple flavor, trying muttering "Mediterranean" to yourself a few times. If you overdose you can probably rebalance your taste buds with a few rapid recitations of "Ford long-bed truck!".

A


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 08:26 PM

I'm getting red and fuzzy for "Mediterranean" but no taste.


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 08:32 PM

Yeah, and saying Aqvavit makes me burp.........Let's try Vegemite..................

BBBRRRAAAAWWWWMMMPPP

....aaaahhhhh...........Seems to induce Synaefartsia......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: little john cameron
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 08:48 PM

Spaw auld freen, here's ane for ye.
http://www.sillyhumor.com/cave/
ljc


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 12:31 PM

refreshers remind me of 'love hearts' and i experience a sherbet taste sensation


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Gamine
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM

CarolC : I am no doctor, but you might get looked at by a neurologist. Not to scare you, but my father-in-law always smelled stuff that wasn't really around, especially sausage, for some reason, and we found out he had a brain tumor that was pushing on his olfactory nerves or temporal lobe or something like that...just a thought.He's TOTALLY fine, by the way!

This makes me think of two things:

One - I see colors come out of some people's mouths when they talk (Maybe *I* should get my brain checked too!)

Two - remember in the Matrix (fantastic movie)when the Judas character is talking about how the steak he is eating isn't really there, just chemical messangers in his brain making him tastes "steak", but dang! it tasted SO real? Makes me wonder what *is* real....


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: C-flat
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 01:36 PM

Chord progressions and sometimes melody lines make me think in "shapes". I don't exactly visualise shapes when I'm playing but sort of "sense" them. It's very hard to describe in words but I remember Mark Knopfler describing a similar sense and thinking to myself "I know exactly what he means!"


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Jeanie
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 02:36 PM

Well, well, well... As a young child I used to baffle adults by saying things like: "Apples say Tuesday" and I remember getting quite cross when they didn't believe me.

Gamine - you are not alone in seeing the colours. My daughter and I occasionally see people as certain colours - and we independently agree on what colour they are. My mother, for instance, is dark, cabbagy green. Enough said !

I wonder if this isn't something "weird", but rather a useful, intuitive sensing mechanism which has been lost to "evolved" humans. At the age of around 3 I used to always draw people with Christmas trees sprouting out of their heads, complete with multicoloured tree lights. What I think I must have been seeing was people's auras. Again, I was surprised when an adult asked me why the trees were there, because to me they were very real and I thought everybody saw them. Sadly, as soon as I was ridiculed about it, the trees and the lights disappeared from my drawings ... and then from my awareness.

You can take me away in the van, now... I'll go quietly...

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 02:52 PM

My wife had synaesthesia (sp?) temporarily while pregnant with her 2nd (this was before my time hence "her" and not "our" 2nd). She found it most uncomfortable. She distinctly remembers white grape juice tasting "round."

Alex


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Gamine
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM

This is so cool!

Jeanie, sad that we ridicule the unfettered innocent intelligence of our young. They are such a wealth of information!

I went to a concert recently and I saw some people so brilliantly in colors - out of their mouths that is. It was really cool to watch the guys on stage. It gave a whole new dimension to "watching" a concert. And I SWEAR I was not on drugs, though reading my depiction here, I would think I was...probably another reason people don't usually share that they see things, taste things, hear things differently than others.

I will join you in the van, I guess! ;-)

But first, (thread creep, just a bit) read Orson Scott Card's book The Seventh Son...it sorta touches on this a bit - and it's a neat book to boot.


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 04:43 AM

Amoret (daughter of 11) "sees" music as colours and shapes. She got quite cross with me a while back for singing the occasional bulbous purple note which didn't fit in with the rest of my notes at all. Apparantly I was singing mostly green, with the odd out-of-place purple. I've improved a bit since then, and am singing mostly lightish blue now.
We have been singing & playing together a lot lately, singing ad-hoc harmonies & shadowing eachother's phrasing. We had to swap parts yesterday because I just didn't understand the curve at the bottom of my part. She kept sweeping her arm around to show me what I should sing - but to no avail...... it didn't seem to be just a simple down the notes & up the notes representation.
She really likes tunes with circles and spirals in.

KRis


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: CarolC
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 04:57 AM

Thanks Gamine. It doesn't happen all that often. And I've been having this experience for quite a few years. At least a couple of decades. I'm guessing if it was a tumor, it would probably have killed me by now. I imagine it's something much weirder than a brain tumor. The inside of my head is a strange place.


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: John Hardly
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 07:52 AM

...reminds me of hearing someone say they knew when their guitar was in tune by the taste in their mouth.

Sorry Martin Simpson (Joni Mitchell -- anyone else who uses wierd, open tunings)!! Starkist doesn't want tunings with good taste, Starkist wants tunings that taste good!


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 09:01 AM

In the middle of reading a pile of psychophysics stuff I came across an interesting book called "The Man Who Tasted Shapes" by Richard E. Cytowic, who has carried out extensive experiments into synesthesia. In this book he lists 5 features for the diagnosis of synesthesia:

1) Synesthesia is involuntary - it cannot be willfully suppressed or conjured at will, it has an external stimulus, but not everything will casue a reaction.
2) Synesthesia is projected - it is usually perceived outside the body rather than "in the mind's eye".
3) Synesthesic perceptions are durable, discrete and generic - ie. the associations endure for a lifetime - if a certain sound is heard as blue, that will never change; given choices, synesthetes pick only one from a selection; they are unembellished percepts (never complex scenes).
4) Synesthesia is memorable - the parallel sensations are easily and vividly remembered and are often used as a mnemonic aid.
5) Synesthesia is emotional and noetic - synesthetes have an unshakable conviction that their perceptions are real.

The book is a popular science, (self-described "medical detective") story, but is a fascinating read (and sure as hell beat reading dry papers on threshold vision responses).

Also, there was a radio program on synesthesia a while ago where a woman described how she and her aunt both "heard" colours, but her colours were vivid and bright, whereas her aunt's were pastels!


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:40 PM

Long ago I read a book called "Mind of a Mnemonist" about a Russian man who had as close to total recall as anybody is likely to get. He involuntarily associated colors with sounds--"My what a yellow voice you have." The psychoshrinker said something about how the abnormal crossing of sensory boundaries made such usually fleeting impressions practically unforgettable. At the risk of thread drift, I have some extraordinarily deeply etched memories of a lady which I think are that way because of the combination of sight, touch and sense of smell. Maybe perfume doesn't just seduce; maybe it also heightens--or deepens--the memory of the moment when it was detected. Then again, maybe some of us just have weird genes; what the hell?? :)

CC


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:52 PM

Their perceptions ARE real, as real as ours are, with our poor nonsynesthetic senses.

From what I've read, kids with this "condition" learn pretty fast not to talk about it. The "curlicues in the chicken" guy had a friend who was a researcher in synesthesia who didn't know that he (the speaker) was synesthetic until he served him the too-lemony chicken and got that involuntary statement.

The researcher I mentioned earlier was theorizing that everybody is synesthetic to some degree, it's just one of the things we learn to ignore as infants, like shape changes of the same thing ("constancy") and so on. He was testing non-synesthetes ("normals") and finding strong correlations, like if you ask 100 people what color the letter E is, you get a lot of dark blue and very little pale yellow or anything.

Then there is the ten ten ten experiment. Try this on a group of people: tell them you're going to ask them a series of questions and they should answer as quickly as they can, without thinking. Then spend at least several minutes asking quesions all of whose answers are "ten" (this only works in English as far as I know, I'd like to replicate it in French!). What we do is ask what's 9+1? 8+2? 7+3? 6+4? 5+5? 4+6? and so on, being very careful not to ask something the answer to which is NOT "ten" - then after all that, really about 3-4 minutes of saying "ten ten ten" (since the questions are short) - ask them to name a vegetable. They will name an ORANGE vegetable. You'll get a lot of carrots, pumpkins, and maybe some squashes. VERY VERY interesting. I've seen this done several times, it replicates nicely with native speakers of English.


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 02:00 PM

Luria is the author of 'The mind of a mnemonist', by the way.

The man S. he describes in the book is even more peculiar than you may think. Given the following matrix of numbers to memorise,

1 2 3 4
2 3 4 5
3 4 5 6
4 5 6 7...,

he memorises it perfectly like any other succession of numbers but fails completely to see a structure in it. He said about himself he most likely wouldn't recognise the alphabet when asked to memorise the string of letters starting wiht a, b, c,...His worst problem was that he couldn't forget and he had to learn a technique for forgetting.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: The taste of words???
From: Gamine
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 02:06 PM

Thread Creep Alert

(but just a bit of a one)

Another book that deals with this topic and a few others is: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. I forget the author right now..but it is a case study book and has some synasthesia in it, too

(sorry about the creep but I thought someone out there might like some more reading material on the subject!)

:-)


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