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Zen's avatar

Do you have a sixth sense when it comes to reading online text?

Asked by Zen (7738points) October 13th, 2009

I came from, and if you haven’t been there – it’s hard to explain the real-time chaos that is unmoderated chat and forum.

I don’t see well, and I don’t see colours. I’m also not young anymore. As a result, I tend to read a lot and read between the lines even more. I sense (sometimes mistakenly I imagine) that I even have a sixth sense when it comes to the written word online, almost as if I give the words more depth – sometimes a person’s smell, sometimes how he would sound, sometimes a facial expression or body language.

I have come to disregard almost all visuality – avatars, person’s description of themself (race colour creed etcetera) and just sense them through their words.

Side: I notice little things which are funny (to me): A recent question had a little rhyme to it (do you listen to Yisin – or something like that). I can dwell on little rhymes and word games, making them up sometimes, pre-occupying myself for hours, sometimes on a few lines of poetry which probably isn’t even very “good” in the classic sense.

Yes, I’m weird.

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20 Answers

Buttonstc's avatar

I am this way about words and peculiar or original turns of phrase.

You soul probably find yourself of like mind with Will Shortz. He was featured recently in a charming little documentary about the annual crossword puzzle tournament.

He is the puzzle editor for the NY Times and speaks about his lifelong fascination with words and language ever since childhood.

In one scene he’s driving along, sees a roadside sign and and casually begins rattling off different phrases which are anagrams of that sign as effortlessly as breathing. It was a fascinating glimpse into a rather unique mind.

I think you would like it and am pretty sure it’s available on DVD for rent.

Buttonstc's avatar

BTW. Just realized I forgot to include the name of the doc.

It’s called. “Wordplay”

Thammuz's avatar

Let’s see if it works: read some of my answers and then describe me!

Zen's avatar

(Whew, finally got it right – the mods just wrote the question for me.)

Zen's avatar

@Buttonstc I am googling it as we speak. Thanks.

Zen's avatar

@Thammuz When you’ve written some more. You’ve only written two so far, and they are too far from fields I understand.

Zen's avatar

@Thammuz You recently wrote: Because an object is worth what people are willing to pay it, and only two things really rule human life: sex and self-preservation. Now, i’m pretty sure having people paying for “not dying” is illegal, making them pay for orgasms though…

I’m starting to get an image of you… ;-)

wundayatta's avatar

I like to think I can divine the things that people want to say but either are too afraid to say, or are not really clear enough to say. I often answer the question as I think they might have meant it, rather than what they actually asked. I used to get some shit for reading too much into it, but that seems to have stopped.

I wouldn’t call it a sixth sense, though. It’s more based on having a lot of experience with people. And perhaps being overly analytical. I also think it applies to any kind of text, not just online text.

I guess I always ask myself what kind of back story would lead to a person asking this question in this particular way. So, if I wrote this question, it would probably be because I was feeling a bit unappreciated, and looking to give people an opportunity to appreciate me without directly asking for it.

Which is probably why the question got moderated, apparently quite a lot, if I understand you correctly.

Well, you can think of yourself as weird as you want, but I’m pretty sure I can give you a run for your money about who thinks they are weirder. As to who is objectively weirder, I am not in a position to say. I think you do have many interesting insights, and I always look for your contributions, and I almost always appreciate them.

But what the hell? It’s not about that. It’s more about having insights (or thinking you might have them) and throwing them out there to see if anything strikes a chord with anyone else. I do like it when people show a sense of self-awareness. I.e., that they can see through their own tricks.

I try to expose my own tricks, insofar as I am aware of them. I generally seem to be developing new ways of fooling myself even as I uncover and defuse the old ones. As I say, I’ve gone through an awful lot of self-deception. I think that qualifies me to imagine I can see through other people’s self-deception. Not that I need to be qualified. Maybe it just gives me more confidence in putting it out there. Or maybe it immunizes me from feeling bad about being criticized, since I can always put it off as just being another example of how they are fooling themselves. Works for me. ;-)

Zen's avatar

@daloon You said: I wouldn’t call it a sixth sense, though. It’s more based on having a lot of experience with people. And perhaps being overly analytical. I also think it applies to any kind of text, not just online text.

I really meant what i wrote, and about the appreciating part…, well, maybe you’re right. But getting back to my “question”: I feel very differently about reading something online, in real time, as opposed to reading an article, e.g. Maybe it’s the “proximity” of the person, or n’est ce pas, the’r actually being there, able to respond – it’s not at all the same for me.

The rest is quite right, my friend, and we’ve had our little private chats. I, too, appreciate your missings – and read them from beginning to end, however long.


hungryhungryhortence's avatar League of Extraordinary Gentlemen =
(Hx3 in a short skirt and long jacket with seamed stockings and sky high heels)

wundayatta's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence(Hx3 in a short skirt and long jacket with seamed stockings and sky high heels)”?!? Be still, my beating heart!

Of course, some things require photographic documentation. I mean, surely a heart attack justifies the necessity for suitable documentation? I hope, I hope ;-)

Zen's avatar

-<<< is no gentleman. But thanks! @hungryhungryhortence

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@Zen Hmmm….. You’ve piqued my curiosity dear sir… What’s your sixth-sense opinion of me?

Zen's avatar

@Saturated_Brain You recently asked, amongst other q’s: Admit it. You know you’ve been through an argument on Fluther (or anywhere on the internet) with another person. You know that the discussion at one point got so heated that you felt like shouting through the screen.

But the important question is: When you’ve had your bit of quiet time after all’s said and done, do you try to make up? Fluther is an interesting place because of the relatively small collective size. The same people you argued with will invariably pop up in another question. And the thing which struck me is that that person who you’ve felt such animosity towards will spew angry comments in one question, yet offer the best and most supportive advice to another person in another question.

You’re faced with the fact that at the heart of it, we’re all people. We all have our differences and we all have our points we disagree on, but we all have that same capacity to provide great answers (and do live up to that capacity). Therefore, do you then put in the effort to apologise? Do you, in another question, talk normally with that other person? Do you even continue the argument in one form or another? Or do you just pointedly ignore them?

I will do my best to make up, even if I got into a horrible discussion (and I’ve had my share of them) because we’re all people, and none of us are perfect, and none of us are always wrong.

Do you?

On a side-note, this is why I’m against implementing an ignore feature on Fluther. In real life you can’t do that, and real life forces you to realise that people aren’t just one opinion. They’re so much more.

Okay, Joe, here goes: You are a sensitive soul, and you do not like to be at odds with people. You are detail-oriented, maybe a bit of a perfectionist (haven’t seen nary a typo) and a real people-person. Most of your questions within the questions – the “You” could be replaced with “I” and would be autobiographical.

You aren’t afraid to apologise, and expect the same. You encourage this in your question, and probably in life too. Not fearing a stalker or ill will – simply because you choose harmony over disharmony, and you’er willing to “work” a bit to accomplish this.

You can get frustrated with people at times. I, for one, never “shout” at the screen – not even metaphorically – you do. I sense creativity and emotion in either your work, or play. The latter being the more important, according to O. Wilde (to paraphrase).

You are passionate and driven.


Saturated_Brain's avatar

@Zen I am very, very impressed. Firstly, let me tell you what you got “off”. Although in some ways I am a people-person, I’m a very introverted one. Also, I admit that I do have a tendency to be quite self-centred. Sometimes a lot more than I’d like. However, the introverted part is undergoing something of a change at the present, although the self-centred bit will probably still need a lot more work. So who knows? I might just become a true people-person in some time. I’ll get back to you on that in a few years. =)

Besides that, everything else is pretty much spot on. Amazing…

Now, although I feel like a greedy whore… Yes! I do want more!

You did ask…

Thanks for that Elvis Presley. Makes me wanna sway back and forth in my chair. Oohh…

Thammuz's avatar


I’d point out some of my favourite ones but that’d be interfering in your profiling process…

Zen's avatar

@Thammuz I don’t know you at all and haven’t inter-acted with you much, so I will take the “profiling” at face value. In other words, not sarcastically.

I am not profiling. I merely get certain vibes from the written words online, when interacting with the other person, not just from reading their comments.

Having said that, as you’ve only asked two questions, and I don’t have the energy right now to look for your comments in what context they were written, I’ll tell you what I sense so far, just for fun: you’ve written that you are young, not even in Uni. Italian, so I can see you typing with only one hand while the other is waving in the air frantically making your point (just kidding).

You like pasta and spaghetti. (Kidding kidding)

You are curious and love the written word in your language as well as English, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you spoke others, at least could read or function in another one or two. But you are impatient (youth) – and a little frustrated with the words – you have so much to say – especially about God (or not God as the case may be) – but as English isn’t your first language, you can’t be bothered with punctuation and grammar. You figure that what you have to say is important enough to stand out; typos and grammar are secondary. Perhaps, you are correct in this.

You are playful, but have a serious side. You like silly films, but can match wits with the best of ‘em, and are probably more up-to-date than most – both in technology and computers, as well as fads and films.

How’m I doing?

Thammuz's avatar

@Zen: O_O

You seriously made me drop my jaw.

But i have one question: is my puntuation really that bad? i actually spend a lot of time trying to correct it…

By the way i have to update my Fluther, I’m in uni now.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

I get impressions of people, but as time goes on I really see how wrong I am.

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