It's All Greek to Me

I just turned to Lynn and said, "For some reason, I can suddenly read Greek." She said, "Write that down somewhere," noting that it's one of the silliest things I've ever said.

I've always been able to perform what geeks would call background processes. My brain will chew on stuff without my involvement, and I'll suddenly wake up with a new intellectual ability. It's one reason why I can learn language so quickly; there's some part of my brain that appears to function somewhat autonomously from the rest of my consciousness.

Anyway, I was reading The Professor and the Madman the other day, which is about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary and an unlikely friendship between two oddly similar men (one in an asylum, a murderer, and the other the head of the OED effort), and I was able to read the Greek phonetically without having to sound out each letter. The Greek was used in the etymology throughout the book. I taught myself how to read Cyrillic when a teenager and learned a very little bit of Russian, and the Cyrllic helped, of course, with the related Greek alphabet.

But, still, it was a surprised after all these decades to look down at Greek and have the sound appear in my head. I'm not sure what broke internally or what finally finished processing in the background. Next, Chinese?