31 July 2008

Happy Diction

Don't you love words that sound like what they mean? And all those English majors out there are thinking, Laura, it's not that exciting, it's called onomatopoeia. [Side note: I did not know how to spell that word and had to ask an English major. It makes me grateful for all those book-reading, word-spelling, poem-analyzing people. They're definitely good for something.]

But really, pretend you are hearing about onomatopoeia for the first time. That way, you'll be as excited about it as I am.

How amazing is it that I can say, crash, and you totally know what it sounds like. Or buzzing bee and you start fanning the little bugger away from your face. And a twinkle little star. (Uh... do stars make noise? Maybe not, but if they did, I think it would sound like twinkle.)

I am also referring to words like welcome. This is not onomatopoeia, but it should be. I think when you say welcome it sounds friendly and uh... for lack of a better word... welcoming. It sounds like a wide-armed hug.

And epiphany. That word sounds exactly like the light-bulb turning on in my head.

Or the word bubble. When you say bubble, it sounds like the popping of air-filled liquid (which is what a bubble is). And popping sounds like popping.

I've been thinking about these words all day and I have been remembering a picnic with high school friends on Provo High's front lawn where we spent the whole time talking about them. Speaking of which, the word picnic? Yes. I'm positive it sounds like ants crawling all over your food and mustard from your sandwich falling onto your dress.

1 comment:

Pip said...

And that is precisely why I like the English language. Despite all of its irregularities which are rather frustrating, the words have feeling behind them.