the embodiment of onomatopoeia

on March 28, 2008 at 5:51 pm, Wes wrote:

Could you perhaps explain the how one could embody onimonipia?

thank you.


No, thank you. Recently, we here at phi·lo·blog·y have received numerous requests (such as the one included above) from our dedicated E-patrons concerning the embodiment of onomatopoeia (“eia” to be pronounced “ayah” as in “Yayah!” or “playa”). But before we launch into such philosophical acrobatics, let’s define our terms:

on·o·mat·o·poe·ia [n.]
1. a poetic device wherein the phonetic signifier mimics the signified (archaic)
2. a way of life


Onomatopoeia first came into regular use through the 1960s action-adventure T.V. series Batman, starring Adam West as Batman/Bruce Wayne, in which it’s viewership was regularly served with (or subjected to) a plethora of poorly choreographed fight scenes against villains such as the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman. In order to compensate for Mr. West’s absurd lack of flexibility, editors chose to insert insert still-screens containing a single word in large, exclamatory font indicating the degree of force to which Batman was pummeling his adversaries. For example, as actor West feebly attempted to deliver Batman’s mighty right-hook to the Joker, at the precise moment of impact the word “Pow!” “Zok!” or “Whamm!” would briefly appear on the T.V. screen. Thus, popular onomatopoeia was born.

Such representations of onomatopoeia, while initially amusing, are soon seen as silly and jejune. But this is not the only way that one may conceive of onomatopoeia.

As defined above, onomatopoeia is a way of life, a philosophy to be embodied in and through one’s everyday thoughts and actions. Embodying onomatopoeia is no easy task. Here are a few steps that you can take to practice (and, like any other practice – medicine, for example – it takes a life-long dedication) the embodiment of onomatopoeia:

  1. Let your actions always perfectly fit your thoughts. For instance, if you are mad at your friend Bob, you should not calmly explain to him, “Bob, I’m angry with you.” Instead, let your anger genuinely flow through your words and actions. Begin with “You suck, Bob!” and even follow-up with a kick or two to the groin if it will further unify the relationship between your thoughts and actions.
  2. Always express your actions verbally, wherever you are. [beginner] When walking into a building, say, “I’m walking into a building right now.” [intermediate] When chewing on a sumptuous spoonful of Count Chocula cereal, remark, “I am currently enjoying a delectable mouthful of synthetically-enriched oats and freeze-dried flavored lard.” [advanced] When delivering a swift kick to Bob’s groin, proclaim, “I am severely injuring Bob’s groin right now.”

There are many other steps on the satisfying road towards the embodiment of onomatopoeia, but these two should be enough to keep the beginner occupied for well over 1 or 2 years, as it takes some time for them to feel natural and for the embodier to come to terms with the social estrangement that may ensue.


2 Responses to the embodiment of onomatopoeia

  1. Kristin Moore says:

    You seem quite presumptuous in your attempt to describe the embodiment of onomatopoeia. As someone who greatly respects such a venture and who makes every effort to have my actions congruent with my thoughts, I think that you are failing to recognize the simple yet extremely profound nature of onomatopoeia as using just a few words to mimick the sound of whatever is being represented. A striking example can be found in the old Beatles song which contains the lyrics “I am the eggman, I am the walrus, coo coo ca choo, coo coo ca choo.” Do not miss the significance of the verbal sound that represents the eggman, and the walrus. Your juvenile idea that one can actually embody such profundity by simply putting a verbal phrase that solely describes an action needs to be rethought. With utmost respect and hopes that you will see my challenging and intelligent comment solely as a means to grow.

  2. Jared Hanline says:

    Don’t listen to this girl

    Whoever she is.

    Don’t ever talk to her again….ever.

    You are doing beautiful work, keep taking time away from your wife to post plenty more entries

    that will show her

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