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Re: Tsk tsk (was: More from the Popular Linguistics Front)

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  • George Corley
    ... Of course you can do that, but writers and storytellers use onomatopeia for a reason. Just because we _can_ describe these sounds in other ways doesn t
    Message 1 of 47 , Apr 11 9:06 PM
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      On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 10:53 PM, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

      >
      > Of course you need to be able to write them (probably mostly in fiction
      > whether sci-fi or not). People do utter them in real life, and realistic
      > written dialogue is going to have to include them. (Personally I suspect
      > that tut-tut, tsk~tisk, tch-tch are all allographs of the same sound.) I'm
      > sure most languages have such words, and writers will try to approximate
      > them. As for ringtones, they can be handled.....
      >
      > "John was about to hop into bed with Leona, when he felt his phone start
      > to vibrate [or maybe jingle, or whatever they do....] in his shirt pocket."
      >
      > "In the middle of the dinner party, suddenly the opening bars of Bach's
      > Toccata and Fugue in D minor blared forth. "Oops, sorry" said Lord Peter,
      > red in the face, "I forgot to turn the ruddy thing off."
      >

      Of course you can do that, but writers and storytellers use onomatopeia for
      a reason. Just because we _can_ describe these sounds in other ways
      doesn't mean we shouldn't ever consider expressing things with onomatopeia.

      Consider a scene like this:
      -------------------------------------------
      Brrrt, brrrt
      Brrrt, brrrt

      In her foggy and half-sleeping state, it took Sophia longer than it should
      have to recognize that the strange low buzzing sound was just her phone
      vibrating on the nightstand. She realized she had forgotten to turn on the
      sound for her morning alarm. She checked the phone's face for the time:
      9:30. Crap, an hour late and she wasn't even out of bed.
      ---------------------------------------------

      The onomatopeia helps the reader visualize the scene more vividly, and put
      themselves into the environment of the story. Think also about comics,
      where varied onomatopeia play a huge role in expressing all kinds of things
      succinctly in a way that can be easily incorporated into the art.
    • George Corley
      ... Of course you can do that, but writers and storytellers use onomatopeia for a reason. Just because we _can_ describe these sounds in other ways doesn t
      Message 47 of 47 , Apr 11 9:06 PM
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        On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 10:53 PM, Roger Mills <romiltz@...> wrote:

        >
        > Of course you need to be able to write them (probably mostly in fiction
        > whether sci-fi or not). People do utter them in real life, and realistic
        > written dialogue is going to have to include them. (Personally I suspect
        > that tut-tut, tsk~tisk, tch-tch are all allographs of the same sound.) I'm
        > sure most languages have such words, and writers will try to approximate
        > them. As for ringtones, they can be handled.....
        >
        > "John was about to hop into bed with Leona, when he felt his phone start
        > to vibrate [or maybe jingle, or whatever they do....] in his shirt pocket."
        >
        > "In the middle of the dinner party, suddenly the opening bars of Bach's
        > Toccata and Fugue in D minor blared forth. "Oops, sorry" said Lord Peter,
        > red in the face, "I forgot to turn the ruddy thing off."
        >

        Of course you can do that, but writers and storytellers use onomatopeia for
        a reason. Just because we _can_ describe these sounds in other ways
        doesn't mean we shouldn't ever consider expressing things with onomatopeia.

        Consider a scene like this:
        -------------------------------------------
        Brrrt, brrrt
        Brrrt, brrrt

        In her foggy and half-sleeping state, it took Sophia longer than it should
        have to recognize that the strange low buzzing sound was just her phone
        vibrating on the nightstand. She realized she had forgotten to turn on the
        sound for her morning alarm. She checked the phone's face for the time:
        9:30. Crap, an hour late and she wasn't even out of bed.
        ---------------------------------------------

        The onomatopeia helps the reader visualize the scene more vividly, and put
        themselves into the environment of the story. Think also about comics,
        where varied onomatopeia play a huge role in expressing all kinds of things
        succinctly in a way that can be easily incorporated into the art.
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