Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WWYWWQ #3 2012-13 SY

This week's question actually comes from Mr. Hughes during his 4th grade writing class (we just finished in there a few minutes ago, which is why the lateness of this posting), and in reality, it was I who asked the question. So the question is this: How do you write onomatopoeia - italicize, all caps, in quotes? The answer isn't a straightforward one and there are different views on which is the right to use. The best answers I found were on this site. If you are using the sound word like someone is speaking it, it would go in quotes - like today being Talk Like A Pirate Day, you would hear a lot of "Arrrgggg" sounds. If you are just writing the sound words in the sentence, you would just write them and let the context speak for itself. If you are using onomatopoeia words at the beginning of the sentences, depending on the nature of the sound, all caps or italicized would be the correct way to do so. I start the story "The Proposal" with onomatopoeia - Ribbet. Ribbet. Ribbet. and in doing so, the words themselves are just italicized. If I were using "ribbet" in the sentence, I probably would have just written it something like this: The ribbeting was disturbing to Stella being in a fancy French restaurant and knowing they served frogs' legs. "No, they wouldn't kill the frogs on site," Stella thought as she tried to enjoy the company of her boyfriend, Henry. I think the biggest thing is to be consistent and make sure you stay true to your writing. If I were using a "power" onomatopoeia word like "pow", "pop" or some other very visual word at the beginning, I probably would capitalize and italicize. I would start my sentence with POW OR BAM or whatever word I was using. I think this is more for emphasis rather than trying to sway from the norm. Onomatopoeia are great for use in graphic novels or comic books but should be limited when writing prose because you don't want to turn your readers away. Use in moderation as with everything else. Hope this helps, Mr. Hughes. See you in class and remember I'm in need of questions for future postings, so keep them coming if you have them. This is an open invitation to all teachers who teach writing class in 3rd through 12th grades. Thanks - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

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