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The psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihalyi wrote in his book Flow, “It is not the skills we actually have that determine how we feel but the ones we think we have” (emphasis added).

When I first encountered that sentence, I reread it four or five times, convinced that it must be a misprint, or perhaps Csíkszentmihalyi was strung out on consonants. He seems to be advocating a delusional outlook on life.

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

What does the bold part mean? I looked up the dictionary and found 4 meanings of 'string out' but couldn't make sense out of it when putting them together with the 'on consonants'.

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When I first encountered that sentence, I reread it four or five times, convinced that it must be a misprint, or perhaps Csíkszentmihalyi was strung out on consonants. He seems to be advocating a delusional outlook on life.

I can't find any explanation other than that Eric Weiner makes fun of professor Csíkszentmihalyi's last name (which isn't easy to read to an American not used to Hungarian notation or pronunciation rules), alluding to an unusual number and combination of consonants in it.

Judging by the following sentence, "strung out" there likely means "under the influence of" (like a narcotic).

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    +1 I would also add that, to me, there also seems to be a possible subtle jab at the fact Csíkszentmihalyi might just like hearing himself talk (because his name is also long and meaningless to the author). – Anaksunaman Oct 27 '15 at 21:55

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