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19 November 2010 @ 02:46 pm
onomatopoeiwhat?  

Which of the following words are onomatopoeias?

crash
32(9.3%)
retch
31(9.0%)
twinkle
8(2.3%)
sniff
39(11.4%)
tap
27(7.9%)
glisten
9(2.6%)
moan
27(7.9%)
flash
6(1.7%)
pop
49(14.3%)
sigh
27(7.9%)
itch
10(2.9%)
flutter
15(4.4%)
glitter
6(1.7%)
wink
5(1.5%)
buzz
52(15.2%)
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I'm feeling: curiouscurious
 
 
 
Meaghansatyrgrl on November 19th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
At least "glitter", "flash", and "twinkle" are words for things that make no noise. Doesn't that mean they are, a priori, not onomatopoeia?
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on November 19th, 2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
Well, that's what I'm curious about :)

They're totally onomatopoetic to me, but I have a lot of sound-related synaesthesia.
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Meaghansatyrgrl on November 19th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
I agree! It makes me think of how movies and television have standard "twinkling" noises (for example) that they add to things that twinkle silently in real life. I wonder if "twinkle" seems to be onomatopoetic because we are all so accustomed to that trick, or if that trick exists because something in our brain instinctively attaches that sound to twinkling.
Jonathan Woodwardwoodwardiocom on November 19th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
The words "phenomime" and "psychomime" might be of interest to you...

"Moan" by the way, comes from "mourn" and thence from "mean", and is thus only onomatopetic by conincidence.
Beah: grammarbeah on November 19th, 2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
Etymologists are so sexy :)
Jonathan Woodwardwoodwardiocom on November 20th, 2010 05:11 am (UTC)
Etymologists are so sexy :)

[grin] Remind me sometime to tell you how "maul" (warhammer) and "mall" (shopping center) are related...
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Beahbeah on November 20th, 2010 04:11 am (UTC)
Yes, this, precisely.
Jonathan Woodward: Wordwoodwardiocom on November 20th, 2010 05:10 am (UTC)
I was just going to add that I made the best guesses I could without access to the OED

I went in without looking anything up, from some notional sense of fairness. Then I looked some stuff up. What I came away with is that it's often hard to prove something is onomatopoeia (both "crash" and "retch" came from words that may originally have been onomatopoetic), but it's often possible to prove something isn't.
houseboatonstyxhouseboatonstyx on November 20th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
I have a lot of synesthesia in most areas, but not here...?

I get associations from the letters if that helps.

Twinkle/trickle/tinkle ... a trickle of water could twinkle in the sun and make a tinkling sort of noise.

Flash/swoosh/swish ... swoosh and swish have their noises, but a flash isn't
really like them, except maybe the sunset flash spreading out over soft uneven terrain.

I guess I sort of get sounds from those words if I look close, but I think I'm borrowing them from the similar words.
Beahbeah on November 19th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
I am on the fence about "tap." All the others I had no trouble identifying as onomatopoetic or not.

Also, I fully expected that many of these words would have gotten 0 votes. Fascinating.
houseboatonstyxhouseboatonstyx on November 20th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC)
I think 'tap' works. Short, percussive.
Beahbeah on November 20th, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)
To me, tapping only sometimes makes the sound "tap."
Scheherazade is my patron saint.: affirmativea_kosmos on November 20th, 2010 04:24 am (UTC)
I would like to hear a twinkle.
Meaghansatyrgrl on November 23rd, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it would sound like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" played on a glockenspiel.