I always loved English and grammar in school. I loved diagramming sentences and using words. I loved writing essays and making up stories. In second grade I was asked to read one of my stories at a PTA meeting. It was about an apple and how it felt living in a tree and getting picked and made into applesauce. I guess I had a pretty well developed imagination even then. I also loved reading and was asked to read a passage of the Bible,yes, the Bible at another PTA meeting. My parents and brothers coached me heavily on this one because one of the sentences I had to read was “all Hail to the King.” I kept saying all hell to the king and my parents and brothers would cringe and tell me to say it differently. I was little and didn’t understand exactly what I was doing wrong, but I think I read it correctly at the time because I didn’t hear any more about it. I am sure my parents were sweating in the audience waiting for me to read that sentence!
One day in English class my teacher introduced a new word. Onomatopoeia, pronounced Onamatepeea(why wasn’t it spelled that way?) I said it over and over to myself. It rolled off my tongue like honey. I loved the word. You would never guess its meaning unless someone told you. For years, I got it mixed up with alliteration for some reason. What wonderful things words are. Alliteration. Boom, pop, boing. Onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia, the formation of a word by imitation of a sound. How many words can you think of that do that? Honk, ding, dong, roar, shh, hiss, bang, zing, cluck, cheep. It’s a wonderful word and a wonderful meaning. It’s been on my mind the past few weeks as the carpenters’ tools go bang, buzz, and whir.
Here’s to wonderful words and the wisdom to want to write them. Alliteration. Bye.