1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Describe the sound of an electric motor in one word

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Alesia, Aug 30, 2013.

    If you had one word to describe the sound of an electric motor (a table fan to be precise) what would you use? Buzzing? Humming? Something else?

     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Whirring?
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Whoosh?
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I took one look at your avatar and just knew you would say that! :D
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    What? I thought you'd expect me to say 'hooty-hoo...'
     
  6. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    By just reading the title. I thought of humming, whirring and buzzing. In the context provided I prefer whirring because the answer can't be "a man humming a tune" or "a swarm of killer bees".
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    susurrate
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd say 'hum'... though, if it's oscillating, that could be accompanied by a clicking or clacking...
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It also depends on how well-balanced the fan is, what kind of base it has (rubber? felt?) and how level the surface it's on is. I've heard metal-based fans on uneven wooden tables buzz loudly.
     
  10. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I went with whirring. I think that fits best because it's one of those old style metal ones. You know the ones where you can really hear the blades chopping the air.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Indeed. One thing you never want hanging around is an unbalanced fan.
     
  12. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    Whirring.
     
  13. smerdyakov
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    smerdyakov Senior Member

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    Shrill
     
  14. Ray West
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    Ray West Member

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    Thrum.
     
  15. Whedonesque
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    Whedonesque Member

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    Irritating

    As in: "What is that irritating sound?"

    Or

    Whirring, humming, buzzing, purring, zzzzzzzing.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The word you select depends on what aspect of the sound you want to highlight, and what reaction to the sound you wish to convey.
     
  17. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    I would say 'the sound of the electric fan running'. Sometimes adjectives are a bit too leading and over rated, imho.

    But in this case, it seems strange that an electric fan running would make an electric motor sound, since fans sound more like the moving air from the blades spinning.

    Maybe an old one would sound sparky, or buzzy...
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  18. PaulGresham
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    PaulGresham Member

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    'Whine' springs to mind.
    However, I have a bathroom fan that makes a kind of throbbing sound, probably because of a loose fitting.
    'The fan emitted a strange throbbing sound, probably because of a loose fitting.'
    I haven't used it yet.
    Maybe this is one way of describing things differently - attribute a fault to them that makes them sound different.
     
  19. GHarrison
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    GHarrison Senior Member

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    Clanging?
     
  20. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    The fans in my new apartment, I woke up to the sound of them today, and to be brutally honest the first word that came to mind was "fapping." However, "fapping" carries a double meaning lol.
     
  21. CraniumInsanium
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    CraniumInsanium Member

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    I'd describe a metal fan as making a whisking sound. or perhaps a swishing noise. Very silent, and almost inaudible except for the sounds of its blades moving through the air.
     

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