Thank you for your reponse. It’s less a matter of sentences as opposed to specific words that “look” better than others, especially within certain contexts. I feel there is a correlation with how words sound as well (cacophony vs euphony), since many of the words which “look” ugly to ms also sound it too, which makes it a multifaceted phenomenon.

Let’s take an example of words which to me “look” beautiful (and sound it too):

  • “Harmony”, “art”, “poetry”, “beautiful”, “violet”, “rose”, “amethyst”, “philosophy”, “angular”, “opinion”, “violin”. These words often have a glimmering, almost golden undertone to them.

Words that “look” ugly to me

  • “Purple”, “mud”, “trough”, “sloth”, “dud”, “rough”, “dull”, “sluggish”, “moth”, “stuff”, etc. Words which have a brownish-grey or muddy hue.

What’s interesting is that many of the words which “look” beautiful to me often correspond to “beautiful” concepts and the same for the “ugly” ones, which is interesting since the colours just happen to look good/bad.

Sometimes, I can find ways to make ugly sentences “look” better to me, and I think that, colour-palette aside, it could also appear better to many non-synaesthetes.

“Ugly” sentence:

“Today’s been rough for me, I’ve been feeling sluggish all day.”

Improved, more “beautiful” sentence:

“Today’s been challenging for me, I’ve been feeling languid all day.”

Nevertheless, I have oversimplified the situation and sometimes words can look beautiful and ugly depending on their context.

In response to whether I’ve ever found myself in the dilemma of choosing between a “beautiful” word and a more appropriate one, I guess this happens sometimes, but I’ve often found that the more beautiful one fits better in non-synaesthetic contets as well. Nonetheless, I remember reading back some of the things I wrote as a child, where I frequently chose the former of the two, and seeing how I sometimes ended up composing prolix or verbose phrases just for the sake of making them “look” good. As time has gone on, my English linguistic skills have somehow ended up corresponding more harmoniously to my synaesthetic palette. The words look the same colour to me, but what I consider “beautiful” and “ugly” has changed slightly.

I hope this has answered your question! Thanks for asking🙂

23-y/o Britalian, Oxford grad, published poet & singer/songwriter. Feminist, progressive & unafraid to share my views | Bylines: Indy, TIME, HuffPo, The Times

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