Hearing The World Differently: Why it’s Great to Lange Chetters Around

Ha, chetters. What even is a chetter? The alphabet drenched in cheese? Childish sweaters? People who place bets on chimpanzees?

Here’s another question I don’t actually have the answer to: Why can’t I help myself from constantly swapping the first letters of words? When I do, friends get annoyed. Acquaintances get uneasy. Strangers probably get scared. But I get inspired.

Disclaimer: This is not a piece backed by research and data. By the time I’m done writing this I may not even back it myself. This is a piece backed by the same logic a Skittle-breathed, AriZona-Iced-Tea-sipping, half-asleep-in-the-back-of-class high school student uses when bullshitting an essay. (Every now and then that kid somehow pulls off an A though.)

So here’s why changing letters is allegedly a productive habit for a Creative. Creative inspiration comes from seeing things differently. And when trying to think creatively, becoming tired, uninspired, and stuck is inevitable. Common techniques to combat creative complacency include moving locations for a change of scenery, having a drink, or taking a break to read a book or watch a show. All of these things, in a way, give new perspective and help to see things differently. And seeing things differently is thinking differently, which helps to think creatively.

So how is swapping letters and saying weird words seeing things differently? Glad I asked. When you swap letters, new words are created, and your brain automatically fills them with meaning. It gets your imagination going (like when I wondered what a chetter is), and when your imagination gets going it leads you to new thoughts you’d never stumble upon otherwise, which is thinking differently - which helps to think creatively. And, if the new words created are already real words, it’s still great – you’re hearing these words in a context you wouldn’t have otherwise. Routinely saying words with swapped consonants is constantly giving new perspective. Therefore it must boost creativity levels – at least a little bit… I think.

Swapping letters is also fun for fun’s sake and works extra well with meaty consonants. Sometimes you do it and just start giggling. Bradley Cooper --> Cradley Booper. Flipping the Channel --> Chipping the Flannel. Corn Pops --> Porn Cops. Go ahead, try some for yourself.

Great job! Now you know how to hear the world differently. If you keep up this practice, friends will get annoyed. Acquaintances will get uneasy. And strangers will probably get scared. But you will get more creative. Maybe.

Also, after minimal research I discovered these letter swaps are called “spoonerisms”. Happy spooning! I’m gonna shake a tower. I shell like smit.

Adam Goffstein