Word Sounds

My favorite poem is “Bells” by Edgar Allen Poe because of the word sounds in it. He uses these word sounds to mimic and encourage readers to hear the bells sounding.

English is a rich language that has absorbed words from so many other languages. This gives a writer or speaker a range of words to choose from.

Consider the word blue. Picture it. Or can you? Is this blue royal? Teal? Navy? Perhaps it’s aqua or powder or sky or? All are blue. Each conjures up a different blue.

Then there is alliteration. What, you’ve never heard of it? Poor you. This is where English becomes fun.

word sounds abound in "For Love of Goats"
“Youth,” yawns Yolanda from the pages for Y in “For Love of Goats”, an excursion into the sounds of words. Dare to say the phrases and stories out loud to practice your pronunciation and enjoy rolling word sounds off your tongue. “Saanens Step Softly.” “Capricious Caprines Cavalcade.”

The other day an office called to confirm an appointment time. The receptionist was almost unintelligible on the answering machine. Obviously she had never heard of alliteration.

Repeating word sounds in a sentence gives alliteration. Making this a phrase can result in a tongue twister.

The common tongue twisters are things like “Rubber baby buggy bumpers” or “She sells sea shells at the sea shore”. Try saying these out loud. How fast can you say them and still be understood?

Two other common ones are about Peter Piper and pickled peppers or woodchucks and wood. That last one brings in homonyms, words that sound the same, but have different meanings.

cover for For Love of Goats by Karen GoatKeeper. a celebration of word sounds
Practice your pronunciation and build your vocabulary. Dare to read this book aloud. Can you say this clearly? “Several spectacular Saanens stand sunbathing.” Get your free digital copy before October 8, 2021, at Smashwords using coupon code DC75F.

“For Love of Goats” began with a homonym set. A goat wondered whether a wether would go out in rainy weather.

The book became a celebration of word sounds both as alliterative stories or tongue twisters for each letter of the alphabet. All are about goats or something to do with goats.

These entries begged for illustrations. I learned a lot about watercolor illustrating doing them.

Tongue twisters are fun. They are a game teaching good diction, vocabulary, pronunciation and a love of word sounds.