I've got grapheme --> color associative synesthesia, with really strongly colored numerals. Seeing the colors of letters and numbers takes a sort of mental switching motion or inner-eye focusing, and then they're just there
like sounds and meanings are there in written words. (Come to think of it, reading is kind of like a learned, standardized type of synesthesia, isn't it?) The combination-vision test thing just looks like a jumble of numbers... so I looked at it too long, saw a "3", and then came and read this thread and got distracted by the big 1213
at the top of every post.
There's a website that will tell you whether you have synesthesia, what types, and how strongly, at (I can't post links yet): synesthete dot org.
(I found it after figuring out I actually do have synesthesia, which I thought I really didn't because I don't "project" colors into actual space. You mean most people don't think zero is a white numeral?)Numerals, letters, and colors
: I associate numerals and letters differently. Numerals have strong, immediately noticeable colors, sometimes along with tastes and textures. 2 is bright yellow with a bit of pottery-glaze shiny, but 1 isn't just black, it smells and tastes like licorice (which is a weird pinky-teal word, by the way) and is brittle and matte and stick-shaped. When I think of numerals, the color stands out to me just as much as the quantity signified does. Letters and words are different; I strongly associate them with their phonetic sounds first, then word meaning, then the whole sound of the word, then
word and letter colors. Numeral colors stay distinct from one another no matter how they're arranged, but letter colors blend together in words. Letter-colors are like watercolor washes; K
turns into Kryptonite
. Some letters are stronger or have more mental pigment than others, and capital letters are always stronger than lowercase ones. No letters are as strongly colored as numerals, and they're all flat and don't have tastes or textures.Weird thing
: Very occasionally, I get a random sound that generates a taste. There's one Skype sound that makes me taste the color periwinkle. (It resemblesNumbers
: I don't have the number line thing at all; I see numbers as distinct 3-d objects in a 2-d void (which I can't rationalize at all, it's not realistic), where they have size according to their quantity but no actual shape (unless I'm thinking of them as squares, cubes, or triangle numbers, or putting them into Fibonacci spirals). If the numbers get too big, they still have colors (just because numerals do), but they're indistinct and don't mean as much. Negative numbers are all watery and dark and have a weird, faint neon glow. Thing is, when I'm actually doing math in my head, it tends to be expressed half-visually without color at all, in animations of moving quantities made of lines, circles, squares, and other geometric shapes as necessary. (That gets lost when I do it on paper, so doing math on paper is annoying. Except I still make mistakes either way. Arrrgh, I love mathematics and hate doing math. [/rant]) The numeral-colors do come in handy for memorizing long, meaningless numbers, like phone or social security numbers. I haven't really thought about trying to use them while doing math (because animated lines), I should...
Okay, I just tried to solve a random algebra problem while focusing on numeral-colors and it was horrible. Turning x (which is a really weird letter, it's both maroon and dark brown at the same time and the capital X is a black and white Moire pattern) into blue (aka 5) helped with multiplying it by 5, but not anything else, and variables like 2b turned into either plain old 2 or a mutant 3-b (because 3 and b are about the same color)... Turning 5*7 into blue-by-green equals, um, green rectangle on blue square? No, 35 is big pink under blue ring. (This... makes a lot less sense written down. XD)
Haha nope, that's waaay more confusing. It might help with the geometric shapes thing, though, because it's easier to remember a greened line than a _______-long one.
jarreboum wrote:What happen when you look at a complete text written in signs you don't know? for example if you look at a text written in japanese or in hindi, would you still see it in various colours? (please take a look at their wikipedia main pages for an example, I can't post links.)
I get this weird effect with all sorts of colors popping up every time I try to "see" the colors of unknown letters. It's actually kind of annoying, I'd probably get a headache if I was a projecting type. If I don't focus on it, it's all one color--Japanese is purple, Persian is pink, roman letters are marigold. If I don't pay any attention at all, they stay black or whatever actual color.
jarreboum wrote:One example on wikipedia is about a person realising he can change the color of the P by adding a bar and making it an R. Do S and $ (dollar sign) have different colours?
S and $ register as completely different letters, as do @ and a. S is pink, $ is yellow-green and/or gold. A, a, @, and 2 are all the same yellow, except sometimes @ is also pink. (And the day and word Saturday are also yellow and/or pink, so these are all associated with one another.) 0 and O and o are all slightly different shades of white, and while I don't like seeing zero written as "oh," I instinctively pronounce it that way (because written "oh" is a white word, but "zero" is a gray plastic word).
jarreboum wrote:Do upper case and lower case variation of the same letter have the same colour? 'C' and 'c' may have, but what about 'R' and 'r'? What do you experience when reading cursive handwriting? some signs have much different writing between cursive and print, like a and b.
Uppercase letters are the same color, but stronger and usually a bit darker. Then there's uppercase X (with the Moire patterns), which is just plain weird. Cursive writing comes out in bolder, slightly different colors, unless it's so fancy or sloppy it's illegible. Then my mind categorizes it as a drawing and doesn't try to color it all, because that would be rude (somehow
) and too much effort anyway.
jarreboum wrote:About signs you learned later in life like the micron sign 'u' and 'µ', do they also have different colours? does the fact that it pronounces 'mu' changes its colour to that of an 'm'?
Color does not come from pronunciation; PH
one is a pinkish brown and F
one is a purple-stained word. The other way around, though, seeing a word spelled with a different color of letter will make me want to pronounce it differently, so rough and ruff, even though they sound the same (in my accent, at least), feel
very different to me. When you spell color as colour, I want to put more emphasis on the "our" bit, because u is much more strongly colored than o.
Any symbol that has meaning for me gets a color too. Random, vaguely letter-shaped symbols don't have color, the "battery low" symbol and the letter delta do.
jarreboum wrote:When you read 'one', are you polluted by the colour '1' or do you specifically see three distinct colours?
One is a weird word, since one can use it as a gender-neutral pronoun, so it comes out differently from 1 for me. But other number words (e.g. three, seventy-nine) come out stained in the color(s) of their numeral(s). The names of colors are messes of meaning; yellow would have been a purple word, but it's stained yellow, means 2, and tastes like banana-flavored laffy taffy.
jarreboum wrote:Do roadsigns appear in colours too?
I'm an extremely visual thinker, so this may be a more individual thing than the other things, but roadsign symbols usually appear like emoticons, original colors (and usually shapes) intact.
And the yellow ones are very american cheese flavored. (Huh, I didn't realize I had so many tastes associated with things.) The word "stop" is extremely red, more strongly than numerals even. Anyway, I'll unconsciously assign at least semi-permanent colors to pretty much anything, but things that already have colors won't usually get assigned additional ones.
O-Deka-K wrote:Mu ha ha! Now I know your Kryptonite!
Ack, that sentence. Not a single correct color, except for the purple w (almost). I've never had this reaction before, but my brain immediately flagged every word there as "extremely misspelled." XD (I like the word Kryptonite. It's a green word about a green thing.)
You know those posters that have the names of colors printed in other colors, and you're supposed to read them out loud? Those are terribly confusing, because it's like yellow is also purple but they printed it in green and then orange.
The "Martian colors" thing is awesome. 8) (I need to write a novel about colorblind Martian synesthetes now. That's just so perfect.)
I've been reading xkcd for 2 or 3 years and haven't posted in the forum, because I'm in high school and the discussions tend to be all code-y and engineer-y and over my head. (I'm slightly the wrong category of geek (BOOKS, writing, sci-fi, computers and physics a little bit
), so I get more than half the jokes but don't know enough to talk about them. So, finally something I can make tl;dr-able posts about. XD
(And I'm partially verifying NoMouse's explanation #2.)