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Blogging Challenge: Describe Sound


“Diamonds dipped in caramel.” That’s the lovely description of singer Ella Fitzgerald as described in a recent NPR’s All Things Considered program called “Vocal Impressions: Hearing Voices”.

Several years ago, I had that last, long, wonderful father-and-daughter time as we went to look at colleges in the Northeast and decide which one had the most expensive landscaping.

Along the way, I put in a mix tape. The first cut on it was Ella Fitzgerald. I didn’t know how familiar my daughter was with Ella Fitzgerald, but I asked, “How would you describe her voice?”

She listened some more and replied, “She sounds like … diamonds dipped in caramel.”

…And it reminded me that Mel Torme’s voice was described as “the velvet fog” and that actress Jean Arthur’s voice was described as sounding like, “a thousand tinkling bells.”

NPR’s All Things Considered is challenging listeners to respond with their description of four famous American voices. Your blogging challenge this week is to help us “hear” sounds, famous or not.

A friend of mine is deaf. My friend didn’t come to his deafness naturally but lost it in an accident as a very young child. He remembers the sound of laughter, but he admits that his memory may be clouded by years of silence and exaggerated imagination. He was excited about having his first child, but also sad and frustrated that he would never hear her laughter. I told him that those who could hear would be able to describe it, but he asked me how could I possibly come up with the words to describe the sound of laughter?

That’s a good question.

So how do you describe a friend or child’s laughter to someone who can’t hear? How do you describe a voice, a song, a sound to those who will not hear, whether or not they are deaf? Describe it to someone who reads your blog.

As usual, leave a comment or send a trackback here so we can follow your blogging challenge.

NOTE: We’re getting some excellent examples, but many are describing sounds with sounds. Careful! Work on your imagination to describe sounds with words that are not “sound” words.

Previous Blogging Challenges

These are published weekly and are an attempt to kick your blogging ass. They serve to challenge your thinking and efforts in blogging and blog writing. To participate, start challenging yourself now. Today. Go for it. Previous challenges have been:


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

8 Comments

  1. thebemusedcapybara
    Posted December 18, 2006 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I just challenged meself. Ohh yeah. hehe…

    check it out.

    im new to blogging so….be easy on me!

  2. Posted December 18, 2006 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I posted on our blog as well… :)

    Bring it on!

  3. timethief
    Posted December 18, 2006 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Laughter is joy the bubbles up from the belly and escapes the lips like a fragrance to all who bear witness to it.

  4. Posted December 18, 2006 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Excellent timethief!

    This is harder than many people thought, isn’t it. I’m finding a lot of people describing sound with sound. It’s difficult to separate the “hearing” from the other senses when it comes to descriptions, isn’t it?

  5. Posted December 18, 2006 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Laugher…

    Cool saltwater exploring your toes, finding your feet, after walking a mile on hot sand.

    Soothing and invigorating.

  6. Posted December 18, 2006 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    This is harder than many people thought, isn’t it

    Yes, it is. I guess we are so used to hearing, imagining not hearing becomes difficult.

    This reminds me of a journal assignment we had in high school — describe a color. :)

    ~ Teli

  7. Posted May 17, 2007 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Laughter is joy the bubbles up from the belly and escapes the lips like a fragrance to all who bear witness to it.

  8. Posted August 29, 2007 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I just love to be challenged. Bring it on.


5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2006/12/18/blogging-challenge-describe-sound/  [...]

  2. [...] I remember sitting through a particularly tedious section of tenth-grade English where we had to pick an object on Mr. Moore’s desk and describe it through four of the five sense. Lorelle’s blogging challenge this time reminds me of that horrible day. [...]

  3. [...] we had to pick an object on Mr. Moore’s desk and describe it through four of the five sense. Lorelle’s blogging challenge this time reminds me of that horrible [...]

  4. [...] Blogging Challenge: Describe Sound [...]

  5. [...] Blogging Challenge: Describe Sound [...]

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