What's the Word for Sensory Crossover - like '5' is blue?

Some people see different numbers having different colors, or seem to have letters and numbers ‘stored’ close together in their brains (like if I’m tired, I often write a 2 for an ‘r’).

I know there’s a word - I’m having a mental block and can’t figure out how to google it.

Lil help?



That’s not Synesthesia. It’s Paint-By-Number.

And 5 isn’t blue, it’s yellow-green.

When it is written out as a number, of course it is yellow-green although I would argue more like green-yellow. However, FIVE spelled out does contain mostly blue or blueish letters so some people refer to it as a blue word. At least everyone agrees that 5 smells like the forest.

My theory is that we learn this stuff from our childhood toys. My home state (Virginia) is blue for this reason, from a wood map/puzzle I had when I was little. So Connecticut, Rhode Island and some other tiny state are all the same color, blue also I think. Maine is Red (like the number 4.) Vermont and New Hampshire are teal - because of the Monopoly board.

I remember seeing something about synesthesia on Dateline or some show like it. The host of that segment kept reminding the TV audience that people who have it are NOT crazy, are NOT dangerous, and are NOT contageous. That was the first in my life it occurred to me some people are NOT synesthetic. But suddenly I feared being tarred and feathered by those people.

Anyway, 5 is yellow-green, 4 is black, Virginia is purple, and A is female.

If you’re implying that the phenomenon isn’t ‘real,’ then I think you’re mistaken.

In this Scientific American article, they talk about a test (in the dead tree version, they showed a couple of pictures) that you can take - and apparently online there are some sinesthesia tests, but I can’t get to them at work. Anyway, the point is, these aren’t just strong associations, they’re physical perceptions.

As I’ve mentioned before, there’s an elegant test for synasthesia. Ask someone who claims to be synesthetic about his associations. Then ask him again a year later. Those of us who’ve got it will give you the same answers. (I got this from Dinosaur Comics.)

Anyway, 5 can’t be blue – five is a girl and blue is a boy. (Although F, I and E are also boys. Hmm.)


Not rigorous enough. People sometimes have strong associations that aren’t synesthesia, but those associations will remain from year to year.

I often mix up F and 5. I was trying to read off a mix of numbers and letters to someone recently and I kept saying the wrong one. Not sure if it’s because five starts with F or if it’s just because I’m weird.

Really? I guess I don’t have it then. Just strong associations.

So really, when you see 5, you physically see it as blue?

I don’t really have it, I don’t think; however, yes, people with it physically perceive it. In the SA article, they put a bunch of 2 numbers on a field of 5 in a pattern, and a person with it could easily see it was a picture of a boat, or whatever.

(I’m using the **FixedSys **font for 5 and 2, but they really had the old-school digital clock versions of 2 and 5 which are very hard to discern on a whole page of them).

That’s really interesting. I never knew that.

Though in the article it asks if you view a week as the letter D on its side with the days arranged counter-clockwise, I thought “Duh! Doesn’t everyone?”

5 is nearly black, but five is red. At least, according to Firefox.

It only looks at the numbers and letters a-f, converting it into the appropriate hexadecimal code. Color “5” is read as color #500000, a rather dark red, and color “five” is read as #FE0000, a bright red.

And, thanks to a cyclical calendar I remember from childhood, December will always be in the lower left of the Wheel of the Year.

Synasthesia has always been fascinating to me, because I find the concept of subjectivity so interesting, and nothing illustrates how extremely different subjective experiences can be.

There’s a few times in my life when I’ve become semi-delirious due to exhaustion. The experience wasn’t quite hallucinatory, but seemed closer to how the experience of synasthesia is often described, albeit temporary rather than persistent. Always wonder how similar the states are.

Whoa. A is female.

B is more female because B looks like Boobs. In fact, Boobs looks like boobs.