1. Aviandalek
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    Aviandalek New Member

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    Cut vocal cords?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Aviandalek, Jan 23, 2016.

    In my story, my character has her vocal cords surgically removed so that she can not speak. What kind of noises can she make though (like groaning, grunting, or laughing)? Thank you guys for the help!
     
  2. Earp
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    Earp Active Member

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    I suppose she could snort and click her tongue. Why doesn't she want to speak?
     
  3. Aviandalek
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    Aviandalek New Member

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    Someone else actually cut them so that she couldn't tell anyone they experimented on her and her friend.
     
  4. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Can we suppose she can still write? I had a brief scene where an MC meets a mute cyborg, that acts out what she wants to say.
     
  5. Electralight
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    Electralight Member

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    She would still be able to whisper, because that does not require the movement of vocal chords. Try making different noises with your fingers on your throat (right where your 'adams apple' is). If you feel a vibration- no matter how small- then you are using your vocal chords. Otherwise, your character will be able to make that noise.
     
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  6. Aviandalek
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    Aviandalek New Member

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    I supposed that's true. They're afraid to go to any authorities because, while it would take care of the people who experimented on them, they're not totally sure what would happen to them, like if they'd end up at another zoo or worse. You guys have been very helpful with your suggestions, though!
     
  7. Jeff Countryman
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    Jeff Countryman Living the dream Supporter

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    My vocal cords are paralysed, so maybe I can offer some insight. First, I'm 51 years old. My cords were paralysed about 4 years ago, so I'm still a newbie to the world of mute and sign language. Whispering is not possible, at least not for me, and I'm not aware of anyone that can (I've never checked it out, though).

    At any rate, any noises I make are 'gutteral' in nature; they come from the diaphragm and have to be forced out with expiration and sound like a grunt - it's not a nice sound for people to hear, nor is there any way to change the octave to give it any meaning. Hence, it don't ever do it. It's a lot easier and expressive to just use hand/body/facial signs to communicate.

    I can't laugh. I express laughing all the time but no 'ha ha ha' is ever heard, of course. That's because it would sound the same as the gutteral sound and people would not 'hear that as laughing', just a grunt. It actually takes practice to not laugh that way because it's only natural that laughing comes from the 'gut' - but it's appreciated by those around me.

    I think if your character's vocal cords were 'cut or removed' (not sure if that's even possible, lol), the pain alone would stop her from even trying to speak initially and she would automatically try to communicate using her hands and facial expressions to get something to write on, then communicate via writing until she was able to make some initial hand signs (and for people to understand those signs).

    I like the premise that 'to keep someone silent, you cut their vocal cords'. Very intriguing and imaginative!!! :):)

    Cheers,
    Jeff
     
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  8. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you written about it, Jeff? It was touching to hear, must be difficult for you, atb.

    ...my most successful writes have been about terrible, true life situations. Humour/fiction tends to be more niche. more difficult to translate, nrr, mmm.
     
  9. Jeff Countryman
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    Jeff Countryman Living the dream Supporter

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    @matwoolf ...... it comes up in my writing but I've never written about it 'per se' as it's still new to me as I/we continue to learn. I was an amateur writer before it happened (and still am), so writing is just a continuation of my writing hobby. No story, really.
     
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  10. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    You'll have to double-check with a medical professional, but...

    If her vocal chords were removed completely, she wouldn't be able to swallow anything properly, no water, no food, nothing. The vocal chords block the glottis (entrance to the esophagus) so food and water don't go into the lungs by mistake.

    So, she'd die as her lungs filled with saliva.
     
  11. Aviandalek
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    Aviandalek New Member

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    Thank you very much! This was the type of thing I was looking for. Thank you for including personal details too. I hope you have a nice day/night!
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    No, sorry. The epiglottis is the flap, the cords are below it.
     
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  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Personally, I don't think the premise is sound, because the person could still communicate. But you see it in stories all the time, the silent person who was made mute by some evil person. If you want to use this plot device, just go for it and don't worry that communication is still possible via other means. Readers are very forgiving.
     
  14. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Thanks for the correction. It is a great idea... for a story.
     

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