style guide entry 3

Onomatopoeia is defined as, “[t]he formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named”. While we use words to describe or narrate what happens, the utilizing onomatopoeia attracts the readers into the world the writer has created. The main purpose of this rhetorical device is to grab the readers’ attention by stimulating their auditory sense. With such intention, this rhetorical device was commonly used throughout the storium project scenes, successfully catching the readers’ attention, helping them engage throughout the story, and reaches out to their targeted audience. Moreover, the way in which the onomatopoeia was used in each storium groups were different, giving different effects and having various purposes in reaching out to the audience.

‘The Tape’ written by group 4 continuously uses words such as ‘squeak’ and ‘cracking’, often describing the sound that the old wooden house or the broken window makes. Instead of narrating in words trying to help their readers vaguely picture images only depending on the narration, it decides to use onomatopoeia, which adds another dimension to the dull texts. In scene 2 of The Tape, it narrates, “Then, the closet door slowly squeaks open”. This sentence not only clearly visualizes the actions happening at the moment, but it also illustrates the sound the door makes as it opens. The impact this phrase gave to the readers may seem minimal since it is just a word that was added but is actually significant on how it changed the quality of the phrase; not only did this phrase brought words to live, but it also created an intense atmosphere by illustrating the sound of the cracking door. Imagine reading the same sentence without the word ‘squeaks’. This may limit the approach in which the readers may experience since they will only be limited to visual imagination. However, addition of a single word yet so powerful and effective suddenly adds another element to the phrase and the story. Such example indicates on how onomatopoeia can be used for multiple purposes.

Other examples of simple onomatopoeia used in the story The Violin written by group 1 is, “He remembers how blood splattered across father’s face…”, and “Jhin roared” (The Violin, Scene 1). Though the usage of these expression may be similar to those in the previous example, the effect and the impact it gives to the reader is different. While the first example is focused on auditory sense, the latter example is heavily focused on the visual sense even though it is an onomatopoeia. This does not necessarily mean that this word does not include any auditory sense, however, the readers are more likely to picture the situation rather than imagine the sound it was making. The author could have written, ‘He remembers how his father’s face started bleeding…’ in a standard narrative method. However, the author decides to use the onomatopoeia instead and includes the word ‘splattered’ into the phrase that soon reinforces the narration. Such action made the situation sound much more dramatic and visually lively.

Moreover, the simultaneous use of onomatopoeia and visual text could be found in multiple scenes from storium projects written by different groups. Aside from adding texture to words via sound, some expressions such as, “BOOM BOOM BOOM”, and “CLICK, THA-THA-THA, -VROOM”, were used within the story to describe the sound it was making in certain circumstances. Here, the intentionally capitalized alphabets make the text to sound much more loud and intense when reading. Most of the time, such effect gives the readers a feeling of intensity or makes them visualize a character screaming. Addition of visual effect that impacts the auditory sense along with onomatopoeia enhances the quality of reading an author can provide in a sense that it makes texts much more visually interesting.

Three examples of onomatopoeia were suggested, and they all have some similarities but differences in its purpose and the effect it brought to the narration. It is similar in a way that they are all onomatopoeia, and it has a purpose of intensifying the story. However, the effect and the impact that it gives to the readers is found to be different depending on the context it is being used. To further expand this idea, the way readers will interpret onomatopoeia may be different. Few examples include a phrase from The Tape, “I hear a loud ringing sound in my ears…” in contrast to another phrase from the same storium, “I start feeling for the doorknob and crawling slowly…” The first example uses the word ‘ringing’ to describe the sound whereas the latter example uses the word ‘crawling’ that mimics both the visual image and the sound the action creates. Such examples explicitly illustrate the difference in how the two onomatopoeias could be used for different purposes while they are the same rhetorical device.

Onomatopoeia instantly draws the audiences’ attention; it brings text to live and allow the readers to expand their visual imagination, making a text even more than a collection of dull narrations. It is often utilized when words must be used to its fullest effect when telling a story in a limited space. Throughout the storium project, onomatopoeia is, without a doubt, a crucial element which should be carefully considered before its use, and when it is used properly, it enhances both the phrase and the overall quality of the narration of the plot.

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