How a word looks

I saw a sign today as I was driving along, and it had a word whose meaning seemed to reflect how it looks and sounds. Or do I just think that way because I know the meaning of the word?

When I see the word "strict," for example, the s-t-r combination makes it sound like a serious word, like someone means business. But it could be that I know what kind of effort it takes to make that sound, which implies seriousness.

I wonder if speakers of other languages notice this about their own languages, at least those folks who don't use scripts such as Chinese characters or kanji.

No comments: