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The Synaesthesia of Woody Words

Synaesthesia is a stimulant which gives rise to an experience in different sensory modality. Wikipedia’s Synaesthesia has good introductory text. However, it’s that KiKi and Booba graphic which is more interesting.

Synaesthesia Study Image

“This picture is used as a test to demonstrate that people may not attach sounds to shapes arbitrarily: A remote tribe calls one of these shapes Booba and the other Kiki.”

Decide which is which before proceeding.

“In a psychological experiment first designed by Wolfgang Köhler, people are asked to choose which of these shapes is named Booba and which is named Kiki. 95% to 98% of people choose Kiki for the orange angular shape and Booba for the purple rounded shape.” —From Wikipedia, Image:BoobaKiki.png

It’s spatial representation of tinny and woody words.

Didn’t you ever wonder about The Batman television series fight scenes comic graphics? with short woody words set in angular shapes?

Some words are—Naturally—woody; or, tinny.

Puritanical
Preachers
Pontificate
Against
Sordid
Strumpets
Shakes
Mellifluous
Burlesque
Chanteuse
Soothes
Paisley
Poltroons
Pleasures

And, if you should read French, read “Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard” by Stéphen Mallarmé [1897]. It’s very woody.

Then there is the phrase type which begins tinny but ends woodily, e.g., “Kidney Bongos”.

Or, “The Madcap Laughs” by Syd Barrett [1946-2006].


Sean Fraser posted this on July 12, 2006 09:10 AM.

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