“Words…were beautiful because they could reveal the truth and hide it at the same time.”
In Bitter in the Mouth, Linda Hammerick has a neurological condition known as auditory-gustatory synesthesia, which causes her to experience a taste whenever she hears or speaks certain words. These word-taste combinations are not associative in nature. The word “aunt” triggers the taste of cornbread, for example, not because Linda was eating cornbread the first time she heard the word or that someone’s aunt made the best cornbread she has ever had. The word-taste combinations are seemingly random neurological assignments. The combinations once coupled, however, remain constant and stable for Linda. Mouse over the words for a glimpse of Linda’s unique relationship to the English language. Download the list as a pdf.