The #Write #Words? Post 5

Looking at Onomatopoeia, Simile, and Collective Nouns, and my Delusional Dictionary. For definitions of those, click here to read the introductory post to the series.

This week’s words: Murmuring, Like over-ripe camembert, Bed of daffodils, Newspaper.

Onomatopoeia: ‘…and murmuring of innumerable bees.’

‘The moan of doves in immemorial elms
And murmuring of innumerable bees.’

These lines, from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘Come Down, O Maid’, are frequently used as a skilful instance of onomatopoeia. The use of alliteration enhances the effectiveness of ‘murmuring’.

Simile: ‘Like an over-ripe camembert cheese.’

‘Most of the windows were broken, the cream facing tiles covered by huge patches of fungus, and the whole complex looked like an over-ripe camembert cheese.’ Taken from J.G. Ballard’s ‘The Drowned World’, this is an effective simile, which follows a longer description giving details of the mud oozing, the general collapse of buildings and the pile up of silt as the flooded world takes over man-made structures and slowly returns them to nature. The softness imaged through the over-ripe camembert is a brilliant use of simile.

And similes to avoid because they’re clichés?

as soft as a brush, as soft as shit, as soft as silk

Collective Nouns: bed of daffodils;

When Wordsworth encountered a bed of daffodils, he was inspired to write his famous poem ‘The Daffodils’ with its famous first line, ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’, but he avoided the use of ‘bed’ and instead used ‘host’ to describe the multitude.

Other collections using ‘bed’ are:

bed of clams, bed of flowers, bed of oysters, bed of snakes

Delusional Dictionary: Newspaper: any dishonest, printed version of events presented as truths; a publication owned by elites and used to control the ill-educated by preying on their prejudices and ignorance; a paper version of soft pornography; a publication advertising news but presenting opinion and speculation.

For those learning English as a language, there’s a useful guide to pronunciation here, and Facebook hosts a great group you can join here.

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