“Caster, Coaster, whatever. The word is the same colour.”

If someone in the middle of a casual conversation suddenly slipped up and used a wrong word, and waved it off, saying “well, they’re the same colour, that’s how I got mixed up.”  What would your first reaction be?

Would you pretend you didn’t hear? Many people do. They think there’s no way they heard that right.

Would you look at them strangely and say something like “Riiiiigggght. Whatever” and write that person off as mentally challenged? Lots of people do.

Would you say “What? What do you mean?” Some people do. Curiosity gets the better of them.

Or would you be the very rare person who thinks “ah. This person must have synesthesia”  accept the comment, and move on?

I’d probably say “YOU TOO? I have that problem ALL THE TIME!!”

It can be a real problem.  It’s like sometimes I have a bit of brain aphasia and while my right brain brings up a picture of a “coaster” and sends the info with a yellow colour attached, my left brain does a bit of a search for yellow word sounds, finds “caster” and thinks “yep, that’ll do” and that’s what I say.

So my brain is sure it has said the yellow word “coaster” but that’s not what came out.  Hence, “same colour, got mixed up.”

Some people say that grapheme colour synesthesia is a memory aid. Well, let me tell you, not for me it isn’t.  It has got me into trouble so many times. I’m notorious for mixing up letters and numbers with nearly the same colour.  And yet, I have near perfect recall of phone numbers and license plates because of my syn.

Despite all that, I like my synesthesia. I like seeing all the colours in my letters and numbers. That’s why I have no problem explaining that I’ve mixed up my colours. Even if it does get the strangest reactions from people!


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

11 responses to ““Caster, Coaster, whatever. The word is the same colour.””

  1. Simone says :

    Hey! YES the roses do stick out 🙂
    They are a swirl of fabric stitched on; the fabric is quite pearly, it it gorgeous. I couldn’t go past it at 50% off! I mean i could get a nasty dora dyvet from briscoes for that! I bought the pillow (it’s buy two get 50%) but the pillow really makes it and together they were $65. Which is pretty amazing for the quality and gorgeousness 🙂

  2. Jenn@ You know... that Blog? says :

    Once again, we share a brain. Or at least a brain pattern!

    I’ve always been excellent at number recall, and I often switch words that are not even remotely related but have similar colour/nuance/whatever to them. The word switching drives me nuts, and I often catch it because as a defense, I started doing the “replaying what I just said” (in my head, to analyze) game a long time ago.

    It’s a fast-paced, harrowing ride going on in there. A real roller caster 😉

  3. Robin G says :

    Please don’t be offended or hurt when I say that I think this is cool. I’ve never heard of it. It fascinates me.

    Did it cause you problems in school? Does it seem to just be a problem with output or is it difficult on the input side as well? Meaning, when you hear or read things can you get mixed up, too? What about written versus spoken?

    I hope I’m not irritating you. But I truly am interested.

    • Broot says :

      Not hurt or offended at all. 🙂 Yes, it can be difficult both for input and output but it only caused me trouble in math and physics – I’d get the numbers and letters in the formulas mixed up. 🙂 Haven’t really thought about written vs spoken! 🙂

      • Robin G says :

        Have you struggled with it your whole life? How did you find out what it was?

      • Broot says :

        Not really a struggle. Figured it out when I was 12 – there was a documentary on TV about it. I watched it and just knew that was me they were talking about. 🙂

  4. MaryMeg says :

    Very, very cool. And I’m glad to know that your type (and X’s) is colour grapheme s. Is it more common than other types, or did it just get the most initial publicity? For ages it was the only type I knew about.

    I would find it so helpful for things like remembering digits 25-50 of pi. 🙂 (Coaster/caster notwithstanding)

    I am jealous of you both now. (It would be better than perfect pitch, which my brother and my dad had.)

    • Broot says :

      It’s the most common type. Perfect pitch is cool, though, too. My Dad has perfect pitch. I’ve never actually tried to memorise Pi. 🙂

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  1. Questions about Synesthesia | Craving a Little Perspective - April 4, 2011

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