“The Pythagoreans, an ancient Greek cult of natural philosophers notable for their interest in numerology, personified the natural numbers by assigning gender to them; the odd numbers were male and the even female” (Rucker 1988).
I was very surprised by what I have just read. This is exactly how Thomas associates genders with numbers. Due to this gender and number association consistency among the Pythagoreans, it is not regarded as synesthesia, but rather a form of learned association.
However, in Thomas’ case, I think it is a form of synaesthesia. No one has ever taught him in that way. It was something that he naturally applied through his perception. His letter system is quite interesting too. He thinks “A” looks half boy and half girl, same does its sibling “Z”. “A” is the eldest in the alphabet.
The sibling relationship exists in the following way for other letters:
B and Y are sisters;
C and X are brothers;
D and W are sisters …
Skye does not appear to have a similar system, but his letters are full of characters and personalities.
A is a loner, is half boy and half girl. It is one year old, the youngest in the alphabet. It likes eating in private. Its previous life was a cow.
B is Y’s younger brother. B and Y are Eurasians. Their father is half Chinese and half English whereas their mother is full Vietnamese. B is not as skillful as his sister Y. He doesn’t like doing much. His favourite subject is literacy, and the least favourite subject is Maths. The reason behind the sibling relationship of B and Y is that Skye sees letter B in “Y”ellow. B is for Banana, hence, an Eurasian looking person.
C is half boy and half girl who has a full driver’s licence. Its favourite food is coleslaw. When Skye hears the sound of “C”, he sometimes hears people driving, and sometimes hears people eating coleslaw. This sound synaesthesia has manifested into the personalities of this letter.
D is an expert in weight lifting and working, he is W’s friend. D is good at everything starting with “W”. D and W have been friends since kindergarten years.
E is a girl who feels very cheerful and is a show off sometimes as she is the most popular letter in the alphabet. At one stage, she was an aboriginal person until Zombie “A” transformed her into the letter “E”.
F is a boy and comes from a very rough area. F is very good at driving. Once, a zombie came and gave him an “AWESOME” gold plate, that’s how good his driving skills are.
G is almost a human, is 3/4 girl and 1/4 boy. She does boys’ things often.
Instead of listing all 26 letters, Skye has given me letters that he finds most interesting.
H is a child genius. He reminds Skye of his dad, not because his dad is a genius, but because H loves playing guitar like his dad. He is opposite to Number 4. He enjoys doing homework, likes drinking hot, not cold, drinks, loves sitting in front of a fire place and doing his puzzle.
J is an angel. She is a very magical letter. She tastes like a sweet lolly if she gets cooked on the stove.
Q is Skye’s favourite letter. She is like a queen, very noble and very good looking.
U is German, but she can speak English. She reminds of Skye our German friend whose name sounds like “U”.
V, another favourite letter of Skye’s, is beautiful. Skye loves the sound of “V” as it is so unique. This modern letter, in his mind, makes him feel that he travels 150 years into the future.
X is a private letter. She is very talented as she is hardly ever used. She is extremely special. She is almost a God who can read people’s minds which reminds Skye of himself.
Y is B’s sister, a skillful Eurasian sandwich maker. Sometimes, she likes going to a museum or a temple.
Z is not as outstanding as J, Q, U, V, X, Y. It is half human and half zombie, half boy and half girl.
The research in Ordinal Linguistic Personification Synaesthesia is still at its infancy. Little is known about this form of synaesthesia. Like any other synaesthesia types my children have, they perceive OLP on a daily basis, and do not feel anything different or strange. It gives them more associations with other aspects of life, and helps them connect dots. All these are reasons behind their highly integrated minds.