Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sounds Like...

Woof.
Meow.
Bang.
Crash.
Kerplunk.
That last one is pretty cool because it was a screaming fun game and a rockin' album from Green Day. It's a win no matter what you choose. I do wish, however, that I would have gotten in on that initial wave of onomatopoeia. Had I been allowed to participate on the creation of phonetically engineered approximations of sounds found in nature, I might have done things a little differently. Brooks babbling and unicorns tramping are all well and good, but they don't have the gravitas of "gurgle."
Don't get me wrong, I respect the work of those who came before me. "Cock-a-doodle-do" is about as good as those of us born without a beak. It should be pointed out that in other lands, roosters sound just a little different. In Germany at sunrise you might hear "kikeriki." If you were in Finland, your waking ears would be assaulted with "Kuk-ko-kie-kuu" before your eyes had a chance to open. 
I guess the fascination I am feeling here is the way we assign letters to sounds that aren't made by humans. Or animals, for that matter. So many noises can be ascribed to the descriptor "boom." And don't get me started about how "The Big Bang" is an oxymoron. The creation of the universe rates at least a Boom if not a Kablam. 
Then there's the omnipresent clicking sound. The ones that a typewriter makes may have been forgotten, but they are distinct from those made by a light switch. There are so many sounds that get short shrift when it comes to their onomatopoeiation. I would therefore suggest that we consider adopting the sound dictionary of one of the all-time great sonic translators, Don Martin. If you don't remember Don, it's because you didn't spend the appropriate amount of time with your nose buried in Mad Magazine as a child. If you did, you would know that "brak grak" is the sound of a car being shifted into first gear, and "thoomp" is the sound Tarzan makes when he hits the ground. Sure, it would take some time to work words like "thwizzit" and "zeem" into our everyday lexicon, but it would be totally worth it to keep our language alive and kicking. 
And making noises like "spwatch." 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

TY for the lexicon link

Krs10 said...

click here