Posted by: episystechpubs | October 23, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Mr. Buser, Mr. Poe, and Onomatopoeia

It’s been a rough couple of days in editing world, so let’s take a little break and look at something fun: onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is the creation of words that imitate sound, for example, “buzz” or “murmur.” I will never forget my 10th grade teacher, Mr. Buser (rhymes with “abuser”), trying to teach our class about onomatopoeia. He read the poem “The Bells,” by Edgar Allen Poe, in the most animated fashion. Normally, Mr. Buser was monotone, but when he got to the “tintinnabulation of the bells, bells, BELLS” he started to spit. It was not pleasant for those of us near the front. Here is a snippet of the poem, and it is chock full of onomatopoetic words:

Hear the sledges with the bells-

Silver bells!

What a world of merriment their melody foretells!

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,

In the icy air of night!

While the stars that oversprinkle

All the heavens, seem to twinkle

With a crystalline delight;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

From the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells-

From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

To read the full poem, click here. (Read it out loud with feeling and I’ll give you extra points!) For those of you who like playing with words and language, here is a sizzling, sparkling site, where you can woo-hoo and whoop with joy for all of the onomatopoeia you can eat: The Onomatopoeia List.

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

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