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Thread: Dictionary of grunts?

  1. #1
    Stoney faced WriterDude's Avatar
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    Dictionary of grunts?

    Is there a list anywhere of the grunty uhh ugh hmm grr type sounds our characters might use? Struggling a bit here.

  2. #2
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    Under "grunt," The Flip Dictionary (my favorite thesaurus) lists "groan" and "snort." Not sure if that's helpful to you.

    If you're looking for sounds that aren't words, it's usually better to avoid those. Occasionally, a well-placed, "Ugh!" will serve you well. But most of the time, you're better off with a detailed description instead. For example:

    His eyes bulged, his face turned red, and he made a sound like a woman during the transitional phase of labor. I guess he didn't like my critique of his novel.

    The groan that came out of his throat sounded like a cross between a mating baboon and a dying gorilla. Time to run for my life.


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    The grad students did it NeuroFizz's Avatar
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    I certainly hope there is no such dictionary that would encourage writers to use more and varied phonetic sounds in their writing.
    Last edited by NeuroFizz; 01-23-2013 at 02:27 AM.
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    Travel biologist, piss-poor fluffer quicklime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
    I certainly hope there is no such dictionary that would encourge writers to use more and varied phonetic sounds in their writing.

    qft
    Three words that convey the meaning of six will always look better than twelve...


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    Totally Ninja! quickWit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
    I certainly hope there is no such dictionary that would encourge writers to use more and varied phonetic sounds in their writing.
    Pfft!
    Grill me a cheese.

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    Stoney faced WriterDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orianna2000 View Post
    Under "grunt," The Flip Dictionary (my favorite thesaurus) lists "groan" and "snort." Not sure if that's helpful to you.

    If you're looking for sounds that aren't words, it's usually better to avoid those. Occasionally, a well-placed, "Ugh!" will serve you well. But most of the time, you're better off with a detailed description instead. For example:

    His eyes bulged, his face turned red, and he made a sound like a woman during the transitional phase of labor. I guess he didn't like my critique of his novel.

    The groan that came out of his throat sounded like a cross between a mating baboon and a dying gorilla. Time to run for my life.

    My characters aren't a very articulate bunch, and in my quest for realistic dialogue, a grunt or tut is about the best they can plausibly muster. Often its just a roll of eyes, a curl of lip or a two fingered hand gesture.

    I worry that detailed sound descriptions might get a bit old as I try to find a unique simile for each. Giving it a go though.


    Regards

  7. #7
    Travel biologist, piss-poor fluffer quicklime's Avatar
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    they will sound odd if you have whole pages of "ungh?" "Gah." "OOOh, ungh..." because it's painful and doesn't tell us anything useful.

    Try a new spelling each time, and it will be just as painful, and look like you have commitment issues.
    Three words that convey the meaning of six will always look better than twelve...


    Help a (Koch) brother out: Scotty for President!



    a' traveling:
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  8. #8
    figuring it all out Elusive Wanderer's Avatar
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    Grumbled? I think this would work if you are grunting while speaking.

  9. #9
    I'll procrastinte tomorrow. Rufus Coppertop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WriterDude View Post
    Is there a list anywhere of the grunty uhh ugh hmm grr type sounds our characters might use? Struggling a bit here.
    The publication of "The Oxford Dictionary of Grunts and Ugly Sounds" has been aborted until further notice.

    According to my sources at Oxford it would have included such priceless gems as:

    guuwhaaaaaa'kh - the first retching groan uttered by someone just winded by a punch to the stomach

    also hnnggggaaaawohrrooooowwwwwnggggngngnaaaakh - the sound uttered by an inconsiderate bastard who is trying to defaecate whilst constipated
    Last edited by Rufus Coppertop; 01-23-2013 at 07:49 PM.
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    I can't tell if the concept of such a dictionary is hilarious or terrifying. I kinda want one.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW
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    If I come across a difficult sound to describe, I make the sound myself. I find that hearing it out loud helps me figure out how best to write it.
    I married my co-writer. We shared the fun of writing, now he's in the Navy and I'm at home, rewriting and (theoretically) revising.


    Stationed in Japan and loving it!

  12. #12
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    Are there really enough different types of grunts for a dictionary? A grunt is pretty much a grunt, isn't it?

  13. #13
    I'll procrastinte tomorrow. Rufus Coppertop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
    Are there really enough different types of grunts for a dictionary?
    The Oxford dons obviously had second thoughts.
    “But it isn't hunger that drives millions of armed American Males to forests and hills every autumn, as the high incidence of heart failure among the hunters will prove. Somehow the hunting process has to do with masculinity, but I don't quite know how.”
    John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus Coppertop View Post
    The Oxford dons obviously had second thoughts.

    Enough different thoughts for an entire dictionary? A grunt is a grunt, and if you write it more than one way, readers are either going to think you're bonkers, or you'll have to explain that, hey, this is a grunt, but a different kind of grunt.

  15. #15
    The grad students did it NeuroFizz's Avatar
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    ...and orgasms should be written as, "ung, ung, ung, ung, uuuunnnng, gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh." Or something similar.
    Phoenix (Historical - 2006)First Place, 2007 Arizona Authors Assoc. Book Awards Whiskey Creek Press
    Something Bad (Horror - 2007) Medallion Press. Silver Medal, 2008 IPPY awards, Horror category
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  16. #16
    POP$ AW benefactor Chase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
    Are there really enough different types of grunts for a dictionary? A grunt is pretty much a grunt, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
    Enough different thoughts for an entire dictionary? A grunt is a grunt, and if you write it more than one way, readers are either going to think you're bonkers, or you'll have to explain that, hey, this is a grunt, but a different kind of grunt.
    Don't give up, Rufus. If at first you don't succeed, spoof, spoof again.
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  17. #17
    I'll procrastinte tomorrow. Rufus Coppertop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
    Enough different thoughts for an entire dictionary? A grunt is a grunt, and if you write it more than one way, readers are either going to think you're bonkers, or you'll have to explain that, hey, this is a grunt, but a different kind of grunt.
    Now obviously you do have a point. I mean, let's face it...a dictionary like that was never going to be anywhere near as long as the Shorter Oxford English dictionary.

    They had collected, compiled or come up with enough grunts and noises for at least a few hundred pages though. That's my understanding. I seriously wish they'd go through with it.
    “But it isn't hunger that drives millions of armed American Males to forests and hills every autumn, as the high incidence of heart failure among the hunters will prove. Somehow the hunting process has to do with masculinity, but I don't quite know how.”
    John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America



  18. #18
    POP$ AW benefactor Chase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus Coppertop View Post
    Now obviously you do have a point. I mean, let's face it...a dictionary like that was never going to be anywhere near as long as the Shorter Oxford English dictionary.

    They had collected, compiled or come up with enough grunts and noises for at least a few hundred pages though. That's my understanding. I seriously wish they'd go through with it.
    Way to hang in there! With NeuroFizz's gratuitus sex sounds thrown in, this could be a SuperBowl ad by February 3.
    http://www.chaseediting.com/ | Member:

  19. #19
    I'll procrastinte tomorrow. Rufus Coppertop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase View Post
    Way to hang in there! With NeuroFizz's gratuitus sex sounds thrown in, this could be a SuperBowl ad by February 3.


    Maybe we should start such a dictionary. Here's another offering for starters.

    Hwooor Gaw!
    - the sound made by a person of uncouth disposition whilst hanging out of a passing car, ogling at a woman he deems attractive.
    Last edited by Rufus Coppertop; 01-24-2013 at 01:51 AM. Reason: damn typos!
    “But it isn't hunger that drives millions of armed American Males to forests and hills every autumn, as the high incidence of heart failure among the hunters will prove. Somehow the hunting process has to do with masculinity, but I don't quite know how.”
    John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America



  20. #20
    practical experience, FTW Kittens Starburst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus Coppertop View Post


    Maybe we should start such a dictionary. Here's another offering for starters.

    Hwooor Gaw!
    - the sound made by a person of uncouth disposition whilst hanging out of a passing car, ogling at a woman he deems attractive.
    You must write this dictionary! I'm pledging a fiver up front for my copy and I haven't even read the Amazon review yet. You have an incredible ear for grunts.

  21. #21
    In search of my marbles ElaineA's Avatar
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    Oh, boy, I'm bracing for a torching but there actually IS a website of such words. I know because I used it (judiciously) during NaNoWriMo. When you're under the 30 day deadline, you do crazy things. What can I say? Although, I have to admit that if I'd thought to come to AW for such assistance, I might have gotten several more creative options. Fortunately, I wasn't using such "words" for my characters' couplings because I think my fingers would have gotten tired typing all of those letters.

    ANY hoo, I am new and uncertain as to the protocol of pasting website links into posts on AW and, try though I did, I couldn't find the answer in the FAQs, so WriterDude, if you want to PM me, I can give you the link. I don't think I would be doing you TOO terrible a disservice, although I definitely agree, they should be used sparingly.

  22. #22
    I'll procrastinte tomorrow. Rufus Coppertop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittens Starburst View Post
    You must write this dictionary! I'm pledging a fiver up front for my copy and I haven't even read the Amazon review yet. You have an incredible ear for grunts.
    Uh oh! I see work looming on the horizon.
    “But it isn't hunger that drives millions of armed American Males to forests and hills every autumn, as the high incidence of heart failure among the hunters will prove. Somehow the hunting process has to do with masculinity, but I don't quite know how.”
    John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America



  23. #23
    I'll procrastinte tomorrow. Rufus Coppertop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineA View Post
    ANY hoo, I am new and uncertain as to the protocol of pasting website links into posts on AW
    It's never been a problem. People do it all the time.
    “But it isn't hunger that drives millions of armed American Males to forests and hills every autumn, as the high incidence of heart failure among the hunters will prove. Somehow the hunting process has to do with masculinity, but I don't quite know how.”
    John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America



  24. #24
    In search of my marbles ElaineA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus Coppertop View Post
    It's never been a problem. People do it all the time.
    Thanks, Rufus. It's a big world in here.

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW Kittens Starburst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus Coppertop View Post
    Uh oh! I see work looming on the horizon.
    You could do a whole series. Work your grunts into different languages, 'Grunts of the World'. Tourists could carry handy pocket-sized grunt guides and know how to grunt in foreign countries without causing offence to locals. They could consult them on those many, many occasions where only a grunt will do, such as falling downstairs.

    Then you could branch out to pet grunts, grunts of the farmyard, grunts of the rainforests ... you could really go places with this.

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