1. UrsaBear
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    UrsaBear New Member

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    Onomatopoeia help

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by UrsaBear, Apr 7, 2014.

    Hello, hopefully a quick and easy question....

    When writing dialogue, I tend to sound it out in my head how I expect the character to speak, which sometimes includes actually saying it myself. I modeled one side character on myself, her speech patterns anyway, and she's a tad sarcastic...

    In response to a friend she says what sounds like "chh" or "chuh" or "cha", which is a hybrid of "yeah" and the "chhh" sound of disapproval. Maybe this is a colloquialism (Philadelphia) for myself, but it works for the character so I'd like to use it.

    I don't know if I should just go ahead and spell it, in italics because it's a sound not a word, "cha" which I have seen... once... online (did a google search), OR if there is an actual known spelling for that expression.

    Probably doesn't matter in the end but I figured I'd ask!
     
  2. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    The character is saying it whether it is a word or not, so I would think putting it in quotes the same as dialogue would be the answer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  3. UrsaBear
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    UrsaBear New Member

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  4. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Hi, @UrsaBear ,

    Love the name btw.

    I'd probably use "Tch!" However, I don't think I would use it that often. Sounds like that, are similar to expressions like "dude" and "bro." Pepper it in lightly and readers can pick up on how the character speaks. I probably wouldn't even use it 2x within the same 2 or more (out of personal taste).

    Hope that helps,

    Andrae
     
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  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Isn't it the opposite, it goes in quotes if spoken aloud, italics only if thought. I believe it is only animal vocalizations that don't require quotes.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The linguist in me likes the tch cluster, especially if there is a notable or exaggerated hold of the plosive (when the air is released) at the top of the /ch/ like in chunk but not like in chilly, which might be appropriate since this sounds like the kind of word that would intone irony or sarcasm and would take a somewhat exaggerated pronunciation.
     
  7. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    But she is saying that the character is making the sound out loud, not as a thought.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Right, so it goes in quotes, not italics. Perhaps I misread your post.
     
  9. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Nope you read it right, I just realized I wrote the wrong thing, though I meant quotes. :D
     
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  10. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    I've seen shyeah! in dialogue. That what you're after?
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you need to give us a line of dialog, as it's not clear what you mean she'd be saying...
     

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