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Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Sonicky" Words

The author at one of my favorite Shakespeare watering holes--The Bard Blog--recently returned following a long absence. Coincidental with my attempt to write a sonnet of sounds using alliteration and assonance, it so happens one of the new subjects on The Bard Blog was the sound of words and how sounds-- and the actual construction of the word itself-- can conjure up a picture that can literally describe the thing itself. But it isn't simply assonance, alliteration, or onomatapoeia, as Gedaly points out. As he mentions, "Sonicky" is a word author Roy Blount Jr. came up with in his new book "Alphabet Juice" to describe this kind of word. (I wrote an initial response as my alter ego "Willshill". You can read the whole Bard Blog story by clicking on the title of this post). It seems that "sonicky" doesn't sit well with some as a description for this phenomenon. The search is on, it appears, for a "better sounding" word.

Anyway, I really don't like "sonicky" either.
What it really warrants, I think, to accurately describe what's happening, is a more than one word description. But I gave it some thought and came up with a few one-word possibilities.

--pictsonorant, pictsonorous, pictsonic, pic_sonic (if you want to get "slangy")

Here are a couple of doozies that take in Articulatory Phonetics, (the branch concerned with actual vocal production of sound) and also,the ideas of depiction or picturing (also used to define picturing in or with words), sonorous and sonar-- without the ous-- (a resonant quality of sound itself,the depth of sounds and also 'sounding' the depths with sound, therefore displaying the picture it finds as a result).
Are ya ready?

articulopictsonorous or... articulopictsonorant or... articulopictsonic

Hey, Will invented a few words, didn't he? Why can't we when trying to describe what he does best with them?

Whaddaya think? Any other ideas?


  1. I like picsonic, without the T. It rolls off the tongue nicely. I was trying to invent a longer--more accurately descriptive word as you did later in the post, but decided it should be student friendly. Picsonic has both the the important elements of image and sound, isn't too long, and is fun to say. Or maybe with a hyphen, pic-sonic.

    Also, thanks for the link! Nice to see a new blog pop up. Great alliterative poem too. I had fun speaking that aloud.


  2. Thanks Gedaly; for the visit, the welcome, and the compliment. Glad you had fun with the alliterative piece. Picsonic, eh? I think I like that one best also. Although picsonorous keeps rattling around in me head. See you soon over at Bard Blog. Cheers
    JM aka Willshill