January 14, 2006

Sounds like twentysomething spirit

One has finally shaken off the Vogonic influences. Let us proceed with regular programming. One was pondering the implications of this post, in which the Urban Junkie discusses the dubiousness of onomatopoeic representation.

One has a problem with onomatopoeia. The fact remains that, if one focuses hard enough, one can make any sound sound like almost anything. (That sentence should be edited. But one shall not bother.) Like the trick with the picture of the candlestick and the two faces, it’s all in the mind.

One pretends that the rain goes pitter-patter, but one could equally pretend that it recites logarithmic tables to three decimal places. Brooks are known to gurgle and to babble, but it doesn’t take much to imagine that they’re gossiping or singing or vociferously debating the meaning of existence. (Incidentally, one is quite sure of having heard a pair of noisy airplane engines patiently narrate the complete text of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And one swears that the 8:54 from Borivali to Churchgate goes “Thackeray-Thackeray”.)

Such quasi-synesthetic propensities could be ascribed, of course, to one’s general weirdness. But it seems that the problem is not unique to this individual. The Americans maintain that dogs go “bow-wow” while the English say that it’s actually a more dignified “woof-woof”. In China, they apparently prefer “wang-wang”. For onomatopoeia, it seems, is no more than an auditory Rorschach test. The subject, presented with a largely neutral stimulus, hears what he wishes to hear.

The fickleness of it all is proven by the observation that filmi hearts, having followed for decades their characteristic dhak-dhak and dhadak-dhadak patterns, now tend to go mmm.

12 comments :

the Monk said...

hmmm...hey, there's one!anyway, you are right, but all the same, I really can't think of anything to say...wait, I shall rephrase that: the Monk reads, assimilates, but doesn't break his dignified silence...

LAK said...

Good, the bloggers block has been overcome!And what about Nazia Hassan's song in which her'dil boley boom-boom'?

One in a Billion said...

Monk : Nothing to say? Let that not deter you. Look at this blog.

LAK : Oh yes, that song. One had quite forgotten. And it was picturised on such a lovely model. One misses home now. Sigh.

Falstaff said...

Ah, you noticed the Thackeray-Thackeray bit too, did you? Though you're obviously wrong about Midsummer Night's Dream - everyone knows it's King Lear - some thunder, a lot of whining, and then a final roar.

personally, I've always been irritated by the whole clocks going tick-tock bit - i mean a) most clocks of my acquaintance tick without tocking, like a schoolmarm doing corrections, and b) why tick-tock, why not lip-lock or knick-knock or sick-sock or hick-hock?

Primalsoup said...

Why would you want to shake off Vogonic influences? And however was that managed??!

And don’t people always hear/ see what they want to??? Perception is reality and all of that. And all perception is selective.

Actually may be some people don’t. Sad life that would be… Imagine if I didn’t hear what I wanted to, who would do that for me??? And if they did, it wouldn’t be half as fun for them! :)

As long as the heart goes something, one (by that I don’t necessarily mean just you) must be happy. I have always thought mine goes da-DUM. A soft sound followed by loud thud (as in manner of object crashing and subsequently breaking into a million little pieces).

Filmi hearts going Mmmm now could also be a function of the fact that nobody does the Dhak Dhak in quite the same way as a nice Maharstrian bombshell did in the 90’s! :)

One in a Billion said...

Falstaff : Yes, tick-tock is inexplicably bad. Ding-dong and clip-clop too. Then you have ones like bling when there’s actually no sound at all.

Ah, so it was King Lear. Right. How much sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a turbulent flight.


Primalsoup : Well, one thought one should stop the poetry a) out of sheer pity for the few who find themselves here, and b) to retain whatever shreds of sanity one may still claim to possess. And how did one manage to shake off those influences, you ask? Well .. that was the next post, but since you’ve brought it up one might as well reveal that it involved stale pizza. And masala chai. And children's literature.

Yes, like you said, perception is selective. Hence the concept of onomatopoeia doesn’t really hold water. Drip-drip.

A million pieces? Thy heart? Aww. Na, Primalsoup, na.

And, finally, you had to go and remind one of Her. One shall leave this place right now and head home .. no, wait, she got married, right? Sigh.

Tambourine Girl said...

Really like your writing style! Will be back when I have time :P

Casablanca said...

Hahahaha... this was a good read! Especially like the heart(y) sounds of dhak-dhak and mmmm mmmmm.

One in a Billion said...

Sabita : Thanks. Welcome, you are.

Casablanca : Glad you liked! But now you've gone and reminded one of the dhak-dhak gal again .. and one's feeling all sad and all 'cause she had to go and get married .. grumblegrumble ..

Anjali said...

Oh, thank goodness ... clearly I was getting needlessly perturbed about my inability to produce certain sounds. When all the while the answer has been staring One in the eye. Or humming in One's ear in this case. The dictionary has simply been written by people who heard harrumph when someone said nnnkrrhhhnnn. One is brilliant!

*brimming over with gratitude, shakes One warmly by the hand*

Deepali said...

Well atleast you hear sounds in that which is already noisy.

Whereas I create haunted house sound effects in the silence of my own cheery nice neighbourhood home.

With just my brain and ears. I am so smart I know.

One in a Billion said...

Anjali : Thankee, thankee. Glad to help. *returns handshake with much vigour*

But nnnkrrhhnnn? Surely you mean phnnnkhhrrr?


Dee : One thinks that's called tinnitus. What to do, it affects the not-so-smart among us too.

9:43 AM