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Old 01-22-2013, 11:54 PM   #1
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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.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:24 AM   #2
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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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Old 01-23-2013, 01:23 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:33 AM   #4
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I certainly hope there is no such dictionary that would encourge writers to use more and varied phonetic sounds in their writing.

qft
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:55 AM   #5
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I certainly hope there is no such dictionary that would encourge writers to use more and varied phonetic sounds in their writing.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:08 AM   #6
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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.

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.


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Old 01-23-2013, 02:37 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:40 AM   #8
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Grumbled? I think this would work if you are grunting while speaking.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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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
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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I can't tell if the concept of such a dictionary is hilarious or terrifying. I kinda want one.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:09 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:06 PM   #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?
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:19 PM   #13
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Are there really enough different types of grunts for a dictionary?
The Oxford dons obviously had second thoughts.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:06 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:30 AM   #15
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...and orgasms should be written as, "ung, ung, ung, ung, uuuunnnng, gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh." Or something similar.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:35 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:37 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:42 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:44 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:55 AM   #20
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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.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:56 AM   #21
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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.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:01 AM   #22
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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.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:06 AM   #23
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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.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:11 AM   #24
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It's never been a problem. People do it all the time.
Thanks, Rufus. It's a big world in here.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:26 AM   #25
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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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