Goodbye onomatopoeia?

Goodbye onomatopoeia?
Peer reviewed


On attending a recent seminar I was intrigued to learn a new syndrome, as more than one speaker made reference to “vocalisation”. Since, to my limited knowledge, vocalisation has not appeared in the Wairarapa I am anxious to be prepared in case it could be misdiagnosed. All sorts of questions come to mind is it infectious or notifiable, is there a blood test, an eradication scheme, compensation, subject of an Aglink and has it been on Country Calendar? Should we have road blocks at Mount Bruce and the summit of the Rimutakas to prevent the entrance of this dastardly disease? Are mother-in-laws, regimental sergeant majors or towncriers intermediate hosts in vocalisation? Could it be that it is not a disease syndrome at all but a new sound emitted by our patients in deference to our new courtesy title. If this is the case my patients are heedless of my new status since they continue to bark, growl, whimper, bleat, neigh, moo, grunt, cluck, quack, squeal, baa, roar, teeth-grind, chirp, bray, miaow or even cry out. If for example a sow with a litter of pigs at foot vocalises instead of barks do I strategically withdraw pursued by the hapless owner or do I scratch the sow`s back and utter pleasantries. On a serious note could I make a plea that we use simple descriptive terms instead of high sounding gobbledegook since the English language is rich in such words and if no English term exists I am sure the French have a word for it!

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