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In William Gibson's drama, The Miracle Worker, Annie Sullivan's perseverance pays off when Helen Keller finally realizes that water has a name.
When Helen makes this connection—an epiphany that Annie reinforces by spelling into Helen's hand—Helen runs frantically around the yard demanding that Annie spell out each thing that Helen touches—for the world has suddenly opened up to her and we see just how intelligent Helen is, taking in each word with astonishing speed.
First Helen wants the word for ground, pump, step, and trellis. After Annie's call to them, Helen's parents come outside. As each parent comes into contact with Helen's groping hand, Annie is there to spell to her—first mother and then father.
Annie's pronouncement to the Kellers proclaims that the miracle they had hoped for has finally taken place:
At Helen's questing hand, Annie finally spells the word for who she is:
There is a phenomenon known as synesthesia that you may be thinking of...It is a rare condition
... in which the customary boundaries between the senses appear to break down, sight mingling with sound, or taste with touch.
When Helen feels the water, the spoken word is heard in her mind: Water.
Perhaps you are thinking of this?
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