by Suzy Red
The first time I heard the word, onomatopoeia, I blushed, thinking it to be, perhaps, a disreputable word. It had an unusually bold sound that bounced between my ears like a tennis ball at Wimbleton. Maybe it was this boldness which made me suspicious of it at first, or maybe it was the snickers I heard the first time my teacher, Mrs. Patrick, introduced us to it when I was in the fourth grade.
As I became the master of the word, onomatopoeia grew to serve me well. It continues to bounce fervently between my ears, but now it rings, gurgles, slurps, snorts, bangs, booms, crashes, and jingles as it gives voice to the formerly wordless sounds in my life. Onomatopoeia enables me to retain my dignity as I talk of such things as acorns dropping into mud puddles. I can simply tell you they plop instead of trying to synthesize the sound in my conversation. And, what dignified teacher would be hear "woof-woofing: when she can allow onomatopoeia to simply relate a "bark" for her? Truly, onomatopoeia colors the sound in my world.