As far as I know, I’m not officially dyslexic. However I’m incredibly bad with names (and faces).

This is obviously because I’m so incredibly creative, with whole galaxies inside my brain of such extraordinary brilliance that the banal everyday world in which other poor souls live looks like McDonalds to my El Bulli. Either that or I’m just habitually inattentive and suffer from intellectual deficit disorder. Whatever.

In any case, here are some of my main causes of confusion as I stumble (clumsy too, but that’s another blog) through life.

1. Penelope Cruz and Jennifer Lopez. (‘Zs’, vaguely Spanish. See also Javier Barden and Antonia Banderas.)
2. Ian Duncan Smith and William Hague. (Politicians, bald.)
3. Leonardo di Caprio and Brad Pitt. In my head they are the same person. (Small dog faces/cute noses on grown men. Not good.)
4. Monica Ali, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith. (Too obvious to explain.)
5. Diane Wiest and Rachel Weisz. (Hello?)
6. Baltic states. Balkan states.  (Estonia? Macedonia?)
7. Muslim. Muslin. (This confusion dates from about 1965 and has never been completely untangled in my head.)
8. Carlisle and Cardiff. (Both vaguely west.)
9. Tufnell Park and Muswell Hill. (An obvious problem of too many ‘L’s.)
10. Fay Weldon, Beryl Bainbridge, Muriel Spark. (Writers. Certain age.)

There are more. But I think that’s enough reputation damage for one blog.







12 thoughts on “Revealed: Amazing glimpse inside the brain of a writer. Part 2.

  1. Janet Foxley 8 years ago

    In Carlisle we spell Carlyle Carlisle, Meg. Carlyle was the writer bloke.

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      See what I mean?

  2. kokorako 8 years ago

    Instead of being tired, you are allowing your brain to do Guess the Celeb (city, state, etc) spoonerisms. Possibly. Anyway I completely identify and enjoyed LOL.

  3. Kate 8 years ago

    I’m sorry – I don’t know how to do links, but there is some fascinating stuff to read online about prosopagnosia – face-blindness. There is a research centre at Harvard and UCL. I can do names but not faces and I never see faces in my head when they are described in books or envisage radio characters. I have been known, on a bad day, not to recognise neighbours, and as a result I now smile at everyone I meet just on the off-chance that I’m meant to know them. More than once I have smiled at (irritated) celebrities on this basis …
    Irrelevant to this post, but I feel compelled to alert you to the fact that there is a baby moose just born at Whipsnade Zoo. It was two days old when we were there yesterday and I talked to its mother (definitely a moose) but she did not respond, just chewed grass thoughtfully and looked back at me across the paddock. Her ears twitched (as did the baby’s) but that could have been coincidence. This was a “European Moose (Elk)” but I guess Moosie was too? I only read Vamoose! quite recently and I will never look at a moose in the same way again.

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Can’t tell you how happy the moose story makes me. And I have exactly the same prosopagnosia that you do. Endlessly greeting strangers and having whole conversations with people I can’t begin to identify. SIgh.

  4. Caroline Lawrence 8 years ago

    Snap, Meg! As a writer of detective fiction while being the most unobservant person in south London, I thought it would be fun to have a private eye with prosopagnosia. My newest detective is 12-year-old P.K. Pinkerton who confesses, “… sometimes I do not recognize someone I have met before. If they have grown a beard or their hair is different then I get confused.”

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      That’s me, alright.

  5. Amanda Fisher 8 years ago

    CS Lewis and Lewis Carol. Alice in Narnia etc.

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Ah, great one!

  6. sharon creech 8 years ago

    Oh mannnn, I know! Steve Martin and Chevy Chase? Leo DiCaprio and the other guy whose name I can’t remember? (not Brad Pitt) Beyonce and Somebody Else? Several times I’ve confused Jane Austin w/Jane Eyre. I’m so glad you have this same disease.

  7. bigcitybumpkin 8 years ago

    I was diagnosed as being mildly dyslexic at uni which actually explained quite a lot as I often get things mixed up in much the same way as you’ve described. It’s not too bad at work as the automatic email spell checker tends to pick up on most things. Sometimes though my mouse finger works faster than my brain and recently I replied to a customer saying: ‘I’m sorry for any incontinence caused’ instead of ‘inconvenience’ which made my whole office laugh even if the customer wasn’t too impressed!

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