Author Topic: effective use of onomatopoeia  (Read 824 times)


  • Posts: 316
effective use of onomatopoeia
« on: November 22, 2020, 01:33:46 PM »
Skillful use of onomatopoeia has enhanced many an emote but when not wielded properly it falls flat and has a negative effect.

I've noticed three patterns:
* BANG, SMASH, CRACK will often be capitalized at the beginning of an emote
* More "tangy" words will be lowercase in the middle of an emote surrounded by -hyphens- so that they stand out properly
* Sometimes the onomatopoeia will be used as a verb when an arrow dings off of someone's shield

How do you effectively use onomatopoeia in your emotes?
A staff member sends:
     "Hi, we don't need you to tell us EXACTLY what you are doing when you quit OOC.  We just need a vague reason.  Thanks."


  • Posts: 1711
Re: effective use of onomatopoeia
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2020, 01:55:27 PM »
I personally don't use those. I'm a big fan of "show, don't tell" philosophy in emotes. But I saw it used exactly how you describe and with great effect. It's not jarring to me in any way.

Drov anus and Majikal.   Ffs.


  • Posts: 9458
Re: effective use of onomatopoeia
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2020, 03:53:27 PM »
I think I've used every iteration to some extent. I feel like they all have their place, and when they are used well, can really add some variation to the walls of text we enjoy each session.
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

>craft newbie into good player

You accidentally snap newbie into useless pieces.



  • Posts: 100
Re: effective use of onomatopoeia
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2021, 12:22:11 AM »
I really like your observation, Lotion. I've noticed the tendency as well.

I'm guilty of both using and avoiding onomatopoeia at different times, and have never come to a definite decision.

Some people say it ruins their immersion and I think its a valid argument. It can be a little bit too irregular and jar you just a bit too much. As Dar stated its also very on the nose and much more "tell" than "show" which is unsubtle and can often be lacking in skill or attention.

Personally I have seen it used well to my enjoyment, where there jarring effect was instead very illustrative of just how jarring the noise was. I've also seen it used where a slightly more descriptive word might have done better, or used it myself in instances where it was honestly unnecessary and poorly implemented.

What's a poor writer to do? I'm not sure but I'm interested in following this thread.