Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

Ordinal-linguistic personification (OLP, or personification for short) is a form of synesthesia in which ordered sequences, such as ordinal numbers, days, months and letters are associated with personalities. Although this form of synesthesia was documented as early as the 1890s modern research has, until recently,paid little attention to this form.

For example, one synesthete says, “T’s are generally crabbed, ungenerous creatures. U is a soulless sort of thing. 4 is honest, but… 3 I cannot trust… 9 is dark, a gentleman, tall and graceful, but politic under his suavity.” Likewise, Cytowic’s subject says, “I [is] a bit of a worrier at times, although easy-going; J [is] male; appearing jocular, but with strength of character; K [is] female; quiet, responsible….”

Mme L. reports that “1, 2, 3 are children without fixed personalities; they play together. 4 is a good peaceful woman, absorbed by down-to-earth occupations and who takes pleasure in them. 5 is a young man, ordinary and common in his tastes and appearance, but extravagant and self-centered. 6 is a young man of 16 or 17, very well brought up, polite, gentle, agreeable in appearance, and with upstanding tastes; average intelligence; orphan. 7 is a bad sort, although brought up well; spiritual, extravagant, gay, likeable; capable of very good actions on occasion; very generous. 8 is a very dignified lady, who acts appropriately, and who is linked with 7 and has much influence on him. She is the wife of 9. 9 is the husband of Mme. 8. He is self-centred, maniacal, selfish, thinks only about himself, is grumpy, endlessly reproaching his wife for one thing or another; telling her, for example, that he would have been better to have married a 9, since between them they would have made 18 – as opposed to only 17 with her… 10, and the other remaining numerals, have no personifications”

Powered by Coffee