Posted by: dhkrause | September 10, 2018

Evocative Words

The pronunciation of certain words helps evoke their meaning. This includes, but is not limited to, words that sound like what they reference (onomatopoeia). Here are four words, closely related phonetically, that do this for me: twinkle, tinkle, tickle and tingle, relating to the senses of seeing, hearing, touch and internal feeling. Pay attention to how your mouth pronounces each of these words, and see if you can catch how the act of pronunciation subtly evokes the meaning.

Stars twinkle
Chimes tinkle
Feathers tickle
Spines tingle

I think being sensitive to this phenomenon may help a person learn a new language. It certainly makes the words come alive. Adam may have been a master at this, when he named the animals in the garden of Eden.


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