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Aarrgh!

I love onomatopoeia.

You remember, words that sound like their definition. In writing my book, I needed my character to wail in anguish. I needed a really strong onomatopoeia.

The internet is a wealth of amazing information. Yet, I have to wonder who puts in the countless hours in front of a screen plugging in this drivel–I mean, data. I don’t know who you guys are, but I’m grateful for your time and personal sacrifice.

Here are a couple of interesting websites that helped me this week. First, check out “Written Sound: How to Write the Sound of Things” at http://writtensound.com. You can peruse an alphabetical listing of all the collected “words that imitate sounds.” Or you can search them by topics such as Weather, Music, Explosions, or Gas.

Check it out. These words can be fun. You’ll find the old stand-bys you studied in fifth grade such as buzz, giggle, and hiccup. And a couple I would challenge as onomatopoeia at all, like oops or cliche. (Really? A worn, played-out phrase sounds like cliché?I can’t see it or hear it.)

Gwuf, gwuf
But then there are the unique and intriguing ones like …

           Flibbertigibbet: a flighty, gossipy young woman          
       Gwuf, gwuf, gwuf: footsteps (Can’t you hear them?)
           Kish, kish: ice skates during a hockey game

And, although I’ve never been on a subway during an important announcement, I can imagine the loudspeaker sounds like “thisshig rrrerrk.”

But what about wailing in anguish? I found “argh,” which according to one entry on Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/), is “the correct version of an expression of frustration or anger.”

The sample sentence given is “No brigette, argh is spelled with an h and not just arg.”

You would think someone so concerned about the correct spelling of a word like argh would know to capitalize a proper noun. More than that, as it turns out, the word arg or argh has more spellings than you can possible imagine.

For that, may I direct you to “The Aargh Page” at http://osteele.com/words/aargh#? On that page is an impressive chart of all the possible spellings of aargh, along with how often and where each spelling has been found in print—from argh to (I kid you not) aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!

Whoever put this together, I commend you while I urge you in the strongest possible terms to get out more.

As for my story, I had my character cry, “Aarrrrgh,” showing he is obviously in pain without being, you know, too splashy.

Ahem. Anyway, in order to avoid too much babble and blather, descending into gibberish—you know, yadda yadda yadda–I believe I’ll close. 

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