alliteration is the repetition of a particular sound in the prominent lifts (or stressed syllables) of a series of words or
phrases. Alliteration has developed largely through poetry, in which it more narrowly refers to the repetition of a
consonant in any syllables that, according to the poem's meter, are stressed, as in James Thomson's verse "Come…
dragging the lazy languid Line along". Another example is Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers.
In Alliterative verse, the alliteration that is relevant to the metre is the lift of the half-line (a lift being a stressed
syllable); the ironic example often given to illustrate this is that the word alliteration'' itself alliterates on the
consonant L, not A (the a of alliteration being marked as a dip or unstressed syllable, hence non-alliterating) - thus,
bold beauty is an alliterative formula, between beauties is not, etc.
Consonance (ex: As the wind will bend) is another 'phonetic agreement' akin to alliteration. Assonance is also often
in said category (ex: she loves the thunder), though is more akin to true-rhyme than alliteration (assonance-rhyme
being a main feature of Old Celtic verseforms). Alliteration may also include the use of different consonants with
similar properties such as alliterating z with s, as does Tolkien in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, or as AngloSaxon (Old English) poets would alliterate hard/fricative g with soft g (the latter exemplified in some courses as the
letter yogh - ȝ - pronounced like the y in yarrow or the j in Jotunheim); this is known as license. The concept is that
the sounds are formed orally with exceptional similarity (which can be exampled simply by pronouncing the
difference between z and s, or f and v likewise being acceptable as license in alliterative verse).
Alliteration is commonly used in many languages, especially in poetry. Alliterative verse was an important
ingredient of poetry in "Sanskrit Shlokas", Old English, Old Norse and Old Irish especially - as well as other old
Germanic languages like Old High German, and Old Saxon. This custom extended to personal name giving, such as
in Old English given names. This is evidenced by the unbroken series of 9th century kings of Wessex named
Æthelwulf, Æthelbald, Æthelberht, and Æthelred. These were followed in the 10th century by their direct
descendants Æthelstan and Æthelred II, who ruled as kings of England. The Anglo-Saxon saints Tancred,
Torhtred and Tova provide a similar example, among siblings.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with illusion.
An allusion is a figure of speech that makes a reference to, or a representation of, people, places, events, literary
work, myths, or works of art, either directly or by implication. M. H. Abrams defines allusion as "a brief reference,
explicit or indirect, to a person, place or event, or to another literary work or passage". It is left to the reader or
hearer to make the connection (Fowler); where the connection is detailed in depth by the author, it is preferable
to call it "a reference". In the arts, a literary allusion puts the alluded text in a new context under
which it assumes new meanings and denotations. It is not possible to predetermine the nature of all the new
meanings and intertexual patterns that an allusion will generate. Literary allusion is closely related to parody
and pastiche, which are also "text-linking" literary devices.
In a freer informal definition, allusion is a passing or casual reference, an incidental mention of something, either
directly or by implication: In the stock market he met his Waterloo.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Aphorismus.
"Aphorisms" redirects here. For the Red Sparowes album, see Aphorisms (album).
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic (concise) and memorable form. Aphorism
literally means a "distinction" or "definition". The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates. The oftcited first sentence of this work (see Ars longa, vita brevis) is:
Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience deceptive, judgment difficult.
The term was later applied to maxims of physical science, then statements of all kinds of philosophical, moral, or
literary principles. In modern usage an aphorism is generally understood to be a concise statement containing a
subjective truth or observation cleverly and pithily written.
Apostrophe (figure of speech)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Apostrophe (Greek ἀποστροφή, apostrophé, "turning away"; the final e being sounded) is an exclamatory
rhetorical figure of speech, when a speaker or writer breaks off and directs speech to an imaginary person or
abstract quality or idea. In dramatic works and poetry written in or translated into English, such a figure of speech
is often introduced by the exclamation "O".
It is related to personification, although in apostrophe, objects or abstractions are implied to have certain human
qualities (such as understanding) by the very fact that the speaker is addressing them as he would a person in his
This rhetorical device addresses things which are personified; absent people or gods.
"Where, my death, is thy sting? where, O death, thy victory?" 1 Corinthians 15:55, Saint Paul of Tarsus
"O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, / That I am meek and gentle with these butchers! / Thou art the ruins
of the noblest man / That ever lived in the tide of times." Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1
"Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee! I have thee not,
and yet I see thee still." Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1
"To what green altar, O mysterious priest, / Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, / And all her silken flanks
with garlands drest?" John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn"
"O eloquent, just, and mighty Death!" Sir Walter Raleigh, A Historie of the World
"Roll on, thou dark and deep blue Ocean -- roll!" Lord Byron, "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
"Death, be not proud, though some have called thee / Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so", John Donne, "Holy
"And you, Eumaeus..." the Odyssey
"O My friends, there is no friend." Montaigne, originally attributed to Aristotle
"Ah Bartleby! Ah Humanity!", from Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville
"O black night, nurse of the golden eyes!" Electra in Euripides' Electra (c. 410 BCE, line 54), in the translation by
David Kovacs (1998).
"Then come, sweet death, and rid me of this grief." [(Queen Isabel in Edward II by Christopher Malowe)]
"O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die." Romeo and Juliet (V, iii, 169-170).
Whenever you describe something by comparing it with something else, you are using figurative language.
A simile uses the words “like” or “as” to compare one object or idea with another to suggest they are alike.
Example: busy as a bee
The metaphor states a fact or draws a verbal picture by the use of comparison. A simile would say you are like
something; a metaphor is more positive - it says you are something.
Example: You are what you eat.
A figure of speech in which human characteristics are given to an animal or an object.
Example: My teddy bear gave me a hug.
The repetition of the same initial letter, sound, or group of sounds in a series of words. Alliteration includes tongue
Example: She sells seashells by the seashore.
The use of a word to describe or imitate a natural sound or the sound made by an object or an action.
Example: snap crackle pop
An exaggeration that is so dramatic that no one would believe the statement is true. Tall tales are hyperboles.
Example: He was so hungry, he ate that whole cornfield for lunch, stalks and all.
According to Webster's Dictionary, an idiom is defined as: peculiar to itself either grammatically (as no, it wasn't
me) or in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements.
Example: Monday week for "the Monday a week after next Monday"
A cliché is an expression that has been used so often that it has become trite and sometimes boring.
Example: Many hands make light work.
Alliteration is the repetition of a single letter in the alphabet (as in "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickle peppers.")
or a combination of letters (as in "She sells seashells by the seashore."). It's just about the easiest form of
repetition a poet can use.
A metaphor compares two unlike things. "My baby sister's a doll," you might say, compares your sister's size and
sweetness to that of the perfection of a doll. At another time you might say, "My brother is a rat." This compares
your brother to the nastiest little creature you can think of. In both cases you would be making a metaphor - a
form of comparison that directly compares two unlike things. A metaphor wastes no time in getting to the point.
If you said, "My sister is like a doll," or maybe, "My brother's good as gold," you would be making a simile - a form
of comparison in which one thing is compared to another unlike thing by using specific words of comparison like
like, as, and resembles. Poets try to find unusual metaphors and similes.
In its simplest form, onomatopoeia is produced by a single word that sounds like the thing it refers to: "Six burgers
were sizzling on the grill." "A snake slithered through the grass."
One of the most familiar kinds of comparison is personification---that is, speaking of something that is not human
as if it had human abilities and human reactions.
A great exaggeration used to emphasize a point, and is used for expressive or comic effect. A hyperbole is not to be
taken literally. Example: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." We know that eating an apple every day will not
keep you from ever getting sick and having to go to the doctor.
Idioms are groups of words whose meaning is different from the ordinary meaning of the words. The context can
help you understand what an idiom means. For example: "Put a lid on it." Our teacher tells us to put a lid on it.
She's not really telling us to put a lid on something but to be quiet and pay attention.
Description is additional narration that translates images and other visual information into spoken words so that
people who are blind or visually impaired can access, enjoy, and learn from works of popular, cultural, or
educational importance. For LIL’s purposes, description is most prominent on video-based media (in movie
theaters and on DVD/Blu-Ray and the web), where it is typically inserted into pauses between dialogue, narration,
music, and ambient sounds in the original soundtrack.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Dialogue (disambiguation).
Frontispiece and title page of Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, 1632
Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English) is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written
or spoken conversational exchange between two or more ("dia" means through or across) people. Its chief
historical origins as narrative, philosophical or didactic device are to be found in classical Greek and Indian
literature, in particular in the ancient art of rhetoric.
While the dialogue was less important in the nineteenth century than it had been in the eighteenth, it was not
extinct. The British author W.H. Mallock employed it successfully in his work "The New Republic," which was
explicitly based on Plato's "Republic" and on the writings of Thomas Love Peacock. But the notion of dialogue
reemerged in the cultural mainstream in the work of cultural critics such as Mikhail Bakhtin and Paulo Freire,
theologians such as Martin Buber, as an existential palliative to counter atomization and social alienation in mass
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Look up diction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Diction, pronounced (dic-shun) (Latin: dictionem (nom. dictio) "a saying, expression, word"), in its original,
primary meaning, refers to the writer's or the speaker's distinctive vocabulary choices and style of expression in a
poem or story. A secondary, common meaning of "diction" means the distinctiveness of speech, the
art of speaking clearly so that each word is clearly heard and understood to its fullest complexity and extremity,
and concerns pronunciation and tone, rather than word choice and style. This secondary sense is more precisely
and commonly expressed with the term enunciation, or with its synonym articulation.
Diction has multiple concerns; register—words being either formal or informal in social context—is foremost.
Literary diction analysis reveals how a passage establishes tone and characterization, e.g. a preponderance of
verbs relating physical movement suggests an active character, while a preponderance of verbs relating states of
mind portrays an introspective character. Diction also has an impact upon word choice and syntax.
Diction comprises eight elements: Phoneme, Syllable, Conjunction, Connective, Noun, Verb, Inflection, and
Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
Then another thousand, then a second hundred,
Then still another thousand, then a hundred
Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses an exaggerated or extravagant statement to create a strong emotional
response. As a figure of speech it is not intended to be taken literally. Hyperbole is frequently used for humour.
Examples of hyperbole are:
They ran like greased lightning.
He's got tons of money.
Her brain is the size of a pea.
He is older than the hills.
I will die if she asks me to dance.
She is as big as an elephant!
I'm so hungry I could eat a horse.
I have told you a million times not to lie!
The media and the advertising industry often use hyperbole (which may then be described as hype or media hype).
A figure of speech (a form of irony) in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect; an extravagant statement.
Adjective: hyperbolic. Contrast with understatement.
by: Christine Abriza
Most figures of speech cast up a picture in your mind. These pictures created or suggested by the poet are
called 'images'. To participate fully in the world of poem, we must understand how the poet uses image to convey
more than what is actually said or literally meant.
We speak of the pictures evoked in a poem as 'imagery'. Imagery refers to the "pictures" which we perceive
with our mind's eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, and through which we experience the "duplicate world" created by
poetic language. Imagery evokes the meaning and truth of human experiences not in abstract terms, as in
philosophy, but in more perceptible and tangible forms. This is a device by which the poet makes his meaning
strong, clear and sure. The poet uses sound words and words of color and touch in addition to figures of speech.
As well, concrete details that appeal to the reader's senses are used to build up images.
Although most of the image-making words in any language appeal to sight (visual images), there are also
images of touch (tactile), sound (auditory), taste (gustatory), and smell (olfactory). The last two terms in
parentheses are mainly used by lovers of jargon. An image may also appeal to the reader's sense of motion: a verb
like Pope's spring does so.
A good poet does not use imagery -- that is, images in general -- merely to decorate a poem. He does not ask
Himself, "How can I dress up my subject so that it will seem fancier than it is?" Rather, he asks himself, "How can I
make my subject appear to the reader exactly as it appears to me?" Imagery helps him solve his problem, for it
enables him to present his subject as it is: as it looks, smells, tastes, feels and sounds. To the reader imagery is
equally important: it provides his imagination with something palpable to seize upon.
TYPES OF IMAGES (according to the source of visual images)
1. SIMPLE DESCRIPTION - a large number of images which arise in a poem come from simple description of
visible objects or actions.
2. DRAMATIC SITUATION
2.1 DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE - as soon as the reader becomes aware that the poem is a dramatic monologue, he
visualizes a speaker with the result that the particularity of the situation is evident.
2.2 DIALOGUE - has the same effect as Dramatic Monologue.
3. STORY - like description, narration causes the reader or hearer to form images. When the reader realizes that he
is being told a tale he visualizes from habit; he does not wish to miss the point of the story.
4. METONYMY - when a poet uses metonymy, he names one thing when he really
means another thing with which the first is closely connected. e.g. Seven little foreheads stared up at me from the
first row. (where "foreheads" is used for "eyes" ).
5. SYNECDOCHE - when a poet uses synecdoche, he names a part of a thing when he means whole thing (or vice
versa) or the genius for the species.
6. ONOMATOPOEIA - although imagery usually refers to visual images, there are also aural images. The use of
words which sound like their meaning is called onomatopoeia. e.g. buzz, hiss, clang , splash, murmur, chatter, etc.
As Sir Philip Sidney said: "Imaging is itself the very height and life of poetry." It must be so, form the very
nature of poetic vision, which always embodies itself in the form of symbols. The personality of the poet, which is
the well-spring of his poetry will be a world created from all that he has known and felt and seen and heard and
thought. His image-making poetic faculty and his imagination will blend together his memories and his immediate
perceptions into a thousand of varieties of shapes and associations of living loveliness and power. However
apparently direct and unadorned the poet makes his verses, he will employ images. However simple his statement
he cannot make it abstract.
How imagery comes to the poet, how it is carried alive into the heart by passion is too mysterious a process to
analyze. It brings us back at once to the problem of creation in general. Under the influence of the creative
ferment, the consciousness of the poet seizes association and poetry is the union of the mental and emotional
excitement of the experience with imagery which leaps to meet it, and which must be already in the memory of
Rhythm and Meter in English Poetry
English poetry employs five basic rhythms of varying stressed (/) and unstressed (x) syllables. The meters are
iambs, trochees, spondees, anapests and dactyls. In this document the stressed syllables are marked in boldface
type rather than the tradition al "/" and "x." Each unit of rhythm is called a "foot" of poetry.
The meters with two-syllable feet are
IAMBIC (x /) : That time of year thou mayst in me behold
TROCHAIC (/ x): Tell me not in mournful numbers
SPONDAIC (/ /): Break, break, break/ On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
Meters with three-syllable feet are
ANAPESTIC (x x /): And the sound of a voice that is still
DACTYLIC (/ x x): This is the forest primeval, the murmuring pines and the hemlock (a trochee replaces the final
Each line of a poem contains a certain number of feet of iambs, trochees, spondees, dactyls or anapests. A line of
one foot is a monometer, 2 feet is a dimeter, and so on--trimeter (3), tetrameter (4), pentameter (5), hexameter
(6), heptameter (7), and o ctameter (8). The number of syllables in a line varies therefore according to the meter. A
good example of trochaic monometer, for example, is this poem entitled "Fleas":
Here are some more serious examples of the various meters.
iambic pentameter (5 iambs, 10 syllables)
That time | of year | thou mayst | in me | behold
trochaic tetrameter (4 trochees, 8 syllables)
Tell me | not in | mournful | numbers
anapestic trimeter (3 anapests, 9 syllables)
And the sound | of a voice | that is still
dactylic hexameter (6 dactyls, 17 syllables; a trochee replaces the last dactyl)
This is the | forest pri | meval, the | murmuring | pine and the | hemlocks
In essays and other literary works, the dominant impression or emotional atmosphere evoked by the text.
Distinguishing between mood and tone can be difficult. W. Harmon and H. Holman suggest that mood is "the
emotional-intellectual attitude of the author toward the subject" and tone "the attitude of the author toward the
audience" (A Handbook to Literature, 2006).
or WHO ARE YOU? AND WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS?
A crucial element of any work of fiction is the NARRATOR, the person who is telling the story (note that this isn't
the same as the AUTHOR, the person who actually wrote the story).
What types of narrators are there? The first major distinction critics make about narrators is by person:
a FIRST PERSON narrator is an "I" (occasionally a "we") who speaks from her/his subject position. That narrator is
usually a character in the story, who interacts with other characters; we see those interactions through the
narrator's eyes, and we can't know anything the narrator doesn't know.
a SECOND PERSON narrator speaks in "you." This is an extremely rare case in American literature, although we will
read a few examples.
a THIRD PERSON narrator is not a figure in the story, but an "observer" who is outside the action being described.
A third-person narrator might be omniscient (ie, able to tell what all the characters are thinking), but that is not
always the case. Third-person narration may also be focalized through a particular character, meaning that the
narrator tells us how that character sees the world, but can't, or at least doesn't, read the mind of all the
characters this way.
There are other things we need to know about the narrator, especially since the narrator may be very different
from the author, and because the more we know about the narrator the better situated we are to understand and
analyze what s/he is telling us. When a narrator is one of the characters in the story, it's usually fairly easy to pin
down some information about her/him, because you "see" the character. But you can also get to know thirdperson narrators.
When you read, think about what clues you're given about the identity of the narrator. You may be able to pin
down specific aspects of the narrator's identity (age, region, religion, race, gender, etc.) even if they are NOT
explicitly stated in the text. For example, if the narrator says "Ethel put the pop in a sack and handed it to the
customer," that narrator is not from the same region of the country as a person or character who would say "Ethel
put the soda in a bag and handed it to the customer." If the narrator addresses older characters as Mr. or Mrs. and
younger characters by first name, you may be able to gauge how old the narrator is — who are her/his elders,
contemporaries, etc.? Sometimes you can detect prejudices on the part of the narrator that will affect how reliable
you think that narrator is. If a narrator says, "They passed a greasy kike on their way out," it's fair to assume the
narrator is an anti-Semite, and that may well shape your reading.
Here is a rather lame way to think about it. After you read a story, try to write a personal ad for the narrator. What
personal characteristics, likes, and dislikes of the narrator can you glean from the story?
Moving beyond the personal characteristics of the narrator, think about how to gauge her/his role as the teller of
the tale. Is the narrator reliable or unreliable? Is the narrator telling you everything s/he knows? What limits does
the narrator have, in terms of what s/he can perceive? We'll read some stories with crazy narrators, or stupid
narrators, or narrators who just don't seem to know what they're talking about.
Think about how much AUTHORITY your narrator has to relate the events of the story, and what it means if that
authority seems limited.
Once you've figured out who is telling the story, think about why s/he is telling it. Is this a confession? An act of
bragging? A moralistic lesson? Remember, you're not focusing here on why the author wrote the story, but why
this fictional narrator is choosing to tell it. It may help to consider the narratee as well.
Personification is giving human traits (qualities, feelings, action, or characteristics) to non-living objects (things,
colors, qualities, or ideas).
For example: The window winked at me. The verb, wink, is a human action. A window is a non-living object.
The use of words (such as hiss or murmur) that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer
to. Adjective: onomatopoeic or onomatopoetic.
Examples and Observations:
"Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong. The little train rumbled over the tracks."
("Watty Piper" [Arnold Munk], The Little Engine That Could)
"Brrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinng! An alarm clock clanged in the dark and silent room."
(Richard Wright, Native Son, 1940)
"I'm getting married in the morning!
Ding dong! the bells are gonna chime."
(Lerner and Loewe, "Get Me to the Church on Time," My Fair Lady)
"Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is."
(slogan of Alka Seltzer, U.S.)
"Plink, plink, fizz, fizz"
(Alka Seltzer, U.K.)
"'Woop! Woop! That's the sound of da police,' KRS-One famously chants on the hook of 'Sound of da Police' from
1993's Return of the Boombap. The unmistakable sound he makes in place of the police siren is an example of
onomatopoeia, the trope that works by exchanging the thing itself for a linguistic representation of the sound it
(Adam Bradley, Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop. BasicCivitas, 2009)
The watch-dogs bark!
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting chanticleer
(Ariel in William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act One, scene 2)
"Onomatopoeia every time I see ya
My senses tell me hubba
And I just can't disagree.
I get a feeling in my heart that I can't describe. . . .
It's sort of whack, whir, wheeze, whine
Sputter, splat, squirt, scrape
Clink, clank, clunk, clatter
Crash, bang, beep, buzz
Ring, rip, roar, retch
Twang, toot, tinkle, thud
Pop, plop, plunk, pow
Snort, snuck, sniff, smack
Screech, splash, squish, squeak
Jingle, rattle, squeal, boing
Honk, hoot, hack, belch."
(Todd Rundgren, "Onomatopoeia")
"Klunk! Klick! Every trip"
(U.K. promotion for seat belts)
"[Aredelia] found Starling in the warm laundry room, dozing against the slow rump-rump of a washing machine."
(Thomas Harris, Silence of the Lambs)
Jemimah: It's called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Truly Scrumptious: That's a curious name for a motorcar.
Jemimah: But that's the sound it makes. Listen.
It's saying chitty chitty, chitty chitty, chitty chitty, chitty chitty, chitty chitty, bang bang! chitty chitty . . ..
(Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968)
"I have a new book, 'Batman: Cacophony.' Batman faces off against a character called Onomatopoeia. His shtick is
that he doesn't speak; he just mimics the noises you can print in comic books."
(Kevin Smith, Newsweek, Oct. 27, 2008)
"Bang! went the pistol,
Crash! went the window
Ouch! went the son of a gun.
Onomatopoeia-I don't want to see ya
Speaking in a foreign tongue."
(John Prine, "Onomatopoeia")
"A sound theory underlies the onomaht--that we read not only with our eyes but also with our ears. The smallest
child, learning to read by reading about bees, needs no translation for buzz. Subconsciously we hear the words on
a printed page.
"Like every other device of the writing art, onomatopoeia can be overdone, but it is effective in creating mood or
pace. If we skip through the alphabet we find plenty of words to slow the pace: balk, crawl, dawdle, meander,
trudge and so on.
"The writer who wants to write 'fast' has many choices. Her hero can bolt, dash, hurry or hustle."
(James Kilpatrick, "Listening to What We Write." The Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 1, 2007)
"He saw nothing and heard nothing but he could feel his heart pounding and then he heard the clack on stone and
the leaping, dropping clicks of a small rock falling."
(Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls)
"It went zip when it moved and bop when it stopped,
And whirr when it stood still.
I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will."
(Tom Paxton, "The Marvelous Toy")
"I like the word geezer, a descriptive sound, almost onomatopoeia, and also coot, codger, biddy, battleaxe, and
most of the other words for old farts."
(Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion, January 10, 2007)
Russian Negotiator: Why must every American president bound out of an automobile like as at a yacht club while
in comparison our leader looks like . . . I don't even know what word is.
Sam Seaborn: Frumpy?
Russian Negotiator: I don't know what "frumpy" is but onomatopoetically sounds right.
Sam Seaborn: It's hard not to like a guy who doesn't know frumpy but knows onomatopoeia.
(Ian McShane and Rob Lowe in "Enemies Foreign and Domestic." The West Wing, 2002)
"Linguists almost always begin discussions about onomatopoeia with observations like the following: the snip of a
pair of scissors is su-su in Chinese, cri-cri in Italian, riqui-riqui in Spanish, terre-terre in Portuguese, krits-krits in
modern Greek. . . . Some linguists gleefully expose the conventional nature of these words, as if revealing a fraud."
(Earl Anderson, A Grammar of Iconism. Fairleigh Dickinson, 1999)