Friday, 3 May 2013

Special Interests

It's hard to explain "special interests" to neurotypical individuals.  Sometimes, it's even hard to explain special interests to other Autistics.
But I keep saying I'll post about my special interests.  So here goes:
I have a few special interests.  I don't normally call them "special interests" though. They're just a part of me.  It's hard to explain that to a lot of people.  But when your brain is wired the way mine is, you can't be any other way.
I'll focus here on names.  I love names.  I have an obsession with names.  Every doctor I've ever seen has asked me about names and every one has marveled at my knowledge about names.
I was four years old when I started writing down names.  The first name I remember is "Marcel."  I wrote over and over on scrap pieces of paper, all the names of the extended family members of my fictional Marcel.  I wrote all the names of all his friends and all their extended families.  I created thousands and thousands of lists.
When I was in the first grade, I started writing in notebooks.  Just lists.  List after list.
When I got a bit older, I started using Microsoft Excel and Word.

This, below, is a screenshot of one of the lists I just recently started.  It's just names.  Names, sorted into families.  It's all fiction.  It's all out of my head.

And here, the same type of list, but in Excel.  These are also sorted into families.  The only reason they're sorted into "families" is because I like associating names with each other.  Names don't belong alone.  Names fit best when they're part of a pattern.  So I like making up the names of members of fictional families.  You'll notice that this one is a screenshot that starts in the 500s.  So I've got over 500 rows above.  And you'll also note that the "surnames" are in alphabetical order.  I like alphabetical order.

I have hundreds and hundreds of files like this, plus many more on my parents' computers, plus notebooks and scraps of paper packed full of names.  

I know what the names mean.  I know the origin and etymology of the names.  I know what names are most common in which countries and which years.  I know what names are most uncommon in which countries and which years.  I know a lot about names.