1. Lorravan
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    Lorravan Member

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    Onomatopoeias - how do you write them?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Lorravan, Apr 10, 2013.

    Quick question:
    When writing out a sound that something is making, what is the standard?

    I would assume italics?

    Ex:
    Ring! rang the phone

    or would it be in quotes, or all caps or something like that?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I think it's situational rather than a specific rule re italics.

    Definitely not all caps unless you want to buck tradition.

    Quotes make no sense unless a speaking artificial intelligence is making the sound, which begs the question, do you put "arf arf" in quotes when a dog is speaking? :p
     
  3. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Just read two books containing your issue. Both used the same words.

    Train going over points - Click-Clack.

    And in Gray Justice - (semi-automatic AK47 fire) Click!-Clack!

    No italics or capitals. Just the onomatopeic words.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...ditto that for quotation marks... unless you can cite multiple respected authoritative sources that say otherwise...

    ...i agree, for adult fiction... however, the proscription doesn't apply to children's stories/books...
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hope it's okay to ask something partly related--I always get the dreaded red squiggle if I try to write "ow" although "ouch" is allowed. I've not yet found a firm consensus on "ow". Any ideas?
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'Ow!' is generally accepted as an exclamation when a character experiences a sudden pain, despite ms word not liking it... don't rely on the squiggles [red or green] as being handed down from on high as 'commandments'...
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks!
     

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