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In linguistics and poetry, onomatopoeia is the device of a word, or occasionally, a grouping of words, with a sound imitating the sound it is describing, such as "bang", "click", "fizz", "hush". For animals, the following words are typically used:

Advertising uses onomatopeoia as a mnemonic so consumers will remember their products:

  • Rice Crispies - "Snap, crackle, pop" when you pour on milk
  • Alka Seltzer - makes a "plop, plop, fizz, fizz" noise when dunked in water
  • Cocoa Puffs - a whacky bird is "cuckoo" for them

The sound of Tennyson's words reinforces the actual words describing a lazy summer's day: The moan of doves in immemorial elms, / And murmuring of innumerable bees.

According to Dick Higgins, "Three basic types of sound poetry from the relative past come to mind immediately: folk varieties, onomatopoetic or mimetic types, and nonsense poetries. The folk roots of sound poetry may be seen in the lyrics of certain folk songs, such as the Horse Songs of the Navajos or in the Mongolian materials collected by the Sven Hedin expedition." (Primary Reference: Henning Haslund-Christiansen, "The Music of the Mongols: Eastern Mongolia" 1943:New York, Da Capo Press:1971; Secondary Reference: "A TAXONOMY OF SOUND POETRY" by Dick Higgins, From "PRECISELY: TEN ELEVEN TWELVE" (1981), RELATED RESOURCE: Dick Higgins' Audio Works on UbuWeb Sound Poetry, URL http://www.ubu.com/papers/higgins_sound ).

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