As a boy, I often enjoyed reading G.K.Chesterton’s Father Brown’s stories. So, when I noticed there was a programme on Radio 4 on Tuesday entitled ‘Scoring Father Brown’, I decided to tune in to listen to what it was all about.
“Human beings are basically multi-sensory animals and we are used to encountering the world in the full richness of sight and sound and smell and touch and movement and all of those things. So, purely auditory information in the absence of the visual or the visual in the absence of the auditory is something that we are not biologically programmed for. So, there must at root be a strong inclination to receive information from the world in these various modalities together. This allows for some very powerful relationships between the visual and the auditory, most obviously of course when they are congruent with one another, so when what we are seeing is supported and confirmed and elaborated upon and by what we hear.”
So, what we see, as we turn each spelling into a sound inside our heads, blending them together to make recognisable words, should correspond to what we hear; and, by the same token, what we hear should, when we’re writing a word, correspond to what we see.