Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 12 July, 2016 by Nikki in General / 13 Comments

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about me. Well, by that I mean, the theme is ten facts about me. As in, ten facts about the blogger writing the post.

Yes, I am this awkward in person, too.

  1. I can read in a lot more languages than I can speak (with some help from a glossary, dictionary or simultaneous translation, in some cases). I can read modern English (obviously), French, Anglo-Saxon, Middle English and Old Icelandic. I can only really speak English, though my French is starting to become usable. (I’m also learning Welsh and Dutch, but I am very, very far from being able to read in either. Though I do know how to say “I’m reading a book” in both.)
  2. I can taste words. I’m a lexical->gustatory synaesthete. So, in fact, is my mother. I did not know this was not a thing until I read a book which included synaesthesia as a character trait. The word “torture” tastes of dark chocolate. The Hobbit as a whole tastes like Werther’s Originals. The associations do not necessarily make sense, but sometimes they really do. (Among my favourite words to say: steps, stepped, swept, slept, crept, leapt, crypt… I don’t even know what they taste of, but I like it. When I say words in French or Dutch, they do not have a flavour. Welsh does, though. Brains are fascinating!)
  3. I still can’t pick a career, and I’m 26. Nearly 27. I mean, at this point I have an MA in English literature… but am now partway through a BSc. I read a non-fiction book and promptly want that to be my career. Microbiology, genetics, archaeology, psychology, neurology, literary theory… Can’t I do it all?
  4. I couldn’t read until I was seven. So please stop talking about how real bookworms teach themselves to read at two, people.
  5. If I can’t buy you books, I don’t know what to do with you. There are some great people in my life who just don’t read, and I cannot figure it out at all. What on earth do I buy you for presents???!
  6. As a piece of geeky silliness related to #3, I once came up with a genetic cross which shows why I’m such a bookworm. It is, of course, entirely spurious and unlikely (though of course there’s probably genetic influence in me being an introvert, the synaesthesia, etc, which all contribute to making me a reader), but I had fun. TAHDAH.
  7. I read to my house rabbit. She likes it and has been known to bite me if I stop before she’s ready.
  8. My imagination is completely non-visual. My memory also. I remember things in text; I can’t picture things the way other people seem to. Instead, I have word-pictures, and sometimes that means I have more of a ‘feeling’ about a character than a mental image. So Faramir in the LOTR movies is wrong not because he looks wrong but because he is not as noble and capable of resisting the Ring as the real Faramir. (Even though the reasoning for changing that for the film completely made sense.)
  9. The only thing I recall my parents banning me from reading as a kid was The Lord of the Rings. This was purely for the reason that my mother wanted me to be old enough to properly appreciate it, not because they ever policed the content of what I read.
  10. My biggest library fine on a single book was something like four times the actual value of the book. It would have been cheaper to just pay for a replacement. And it was on my mother’s library card. Whoops. (The book was The Positronic Man, by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg, and I note with distress that I cannot find my copy. Which is doubly annoying as my partner bought it for me early in our relationship, after I mentioned reading it from the library a gazillion times but never seeing another copy since then.)

Welp, I hope that was a suitably entertaining set of facts!

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13 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday”

  1. arbieroo

    Re: 1. What is the Welsh for “I’m reading a book”?
    Re: 7. Don’t be giving Flagon ideas!
    Re: 8. My imagination seems to be getting less visual over time. Dunno why.

  2. My present buying anxieties plummeted when I finally (belatedly) realised I could … just buy them books. I’d always done this for the people I loved best (obviously), but for some reason it took me years I could do it for people I didn’t know so well. Yes, there’s a chance of getting it wrong, but it’s much more reliable than trying to guess what else they might like. And it expands horizons: The Martian, in particular, has been a big door opener into wider reading 🙂

    I would love to be able to read Middle/Old English and Old Icelandic. I studied Old English for a term at uni and found it straightforward, but got crazy frustrated because of the pace of the class. I already spoke German and Dutch and had studied Latin, so I had a massive advantage over the rest of the class in terms of picking it up. That + scheduling conflicts meant I never took it further… and now it’s such a long time since I learnt (or regularly spoke) another language I suspect it would be an uphill battle. But I still have the course books – one day I’ll go back to it!

    • I know some people who just won’t even try a book, even if I pick them something I’m sure they’d like if they’d only try. It’s a little horrifying to me, but. People gonna people?

      I looove doing it, it’s like putting a puzzle together, except more intellectually satisfying. Someday I need to finish translating ‘Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle’ for my partner… I never learnt a second language during the critical period for language acquisition, so all language learning is an uphill battle for me, but I try!

  3. That was a suitably entertaining set of facts!! And omg I’m glad you weren’t an early reader either! I assume I learned at 5 or 6?? Probably 6…but yeah all these bookworms that were reading at 2. LIKE GAH. Where is my hobbit hole, I wish to hide in it. (My nephew is one of those irritating 2year old readers. I mean, wut even. Stop young man.) Also that is awesome that your mother made you wait to read LOTR because of appreciation not policing! EXCELLENT PARENTING.

    • Yeah! And when people are all “real bookworms started reading before they could walk” and I just go “but… but…”

      Yep. I even had access to my mother’s library card and whatever I wanted from her bookshelves. It was glorious!

  4. Faramir in the movies is SO WRONG. He is probably my favourite character from the book but I disliked him in the movie (though I actually find the actor quite handsome).

    Also, the tasting fact is so cool! Is it ever unpleasant or is it just a weird and fun thing that you live with every day? Is it considered (by you and by others) to be a good or a bad thing?

    I can read Old and Middle French. 🙂 And what a useful ability that is…

    • Yes, exactly! Though they explained in the extra stuff that it was because it detracted from the impact of the Ring, if Faramir could resist so easily. It makes sense, but… Faramir!

      It’s just… normal to me, neither good nor bad. I think it enhances my reading; it definitely enhances my learning.

      I did do some Middle French on one module or another, but I was never that great at it.

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