• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word: Cacophony

Cacophony

nounca·coph·o·ny\ka-ˈkä-fə-nē, -ˈkȯ- also -ˈka-\


1:  harsh or discordant sound :  dissonance

2:  harshness in the sound of words or phrases


1650-60;< NewLatincacophonia< Greekkakophōnía


This is a very interesting word. As you can see from the picture (Cacophony © 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil), the term inherently points to a negative connotation. Too many harsh noises sounded together at once to become an overwhelmingly unbearable sound.


However, there are other ways to look at this word. For example, when I had three boys all under the age of one year, their cries could become a cacophony of hunger. When I am feeding my little rescue cats, their meows are what we call a "CATcophony". Before an orchestra plays, and the musicians are warming up, the sound is definitely a cacophony of instrument sounds.


I look at this word as less of a negative, and more of a description of a variety of different sounds, bumping into one another and bouncing off into waiting ears.

 
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