Monday, July 9, 2012

ZAP...ZING...ZONK...ZOWIE!!!!

The 2012 San Diego International Comic-con takes place this coming weekend, and I will be moderating a panel of AWESOME educators -Katie Monnin and Bucky Carter and graphic novelists - John Hogan (Graphic Novel Reporter), Joe Kelly (I Kill Giants), Jimmy Gowenly (the Amelia books) Matt and Jennifer Holm (the BabyMouse and Squish books).  Our panel  "Transforming Super-Powered Comic Book Readers into Comic Book Writers" will be on Saturday, 7/14/12 at  5:30p.m. - 6:30p.m., Room: 26AB IF you're there, please come say hello to me.

While I will be posting more about the convention and my panel later, in the spirit of great comics and graphic novels, I dedicate ABC Wednesday "Z" week to  these super awesome fun onomatopoeic Z words: Zap, Zing, Zonk, and Zowie!!!

According to Wikipedia:
onomatopœia (About this sound pronunciation (US) , from the Greek ὀνοματοποιία;[1] ὄνομα for "name"[2] and ποιέω for "I make",[3] adjectival form: "onomatopoeic" or "onomatopoetic") is a word that imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes.
Comic strips and comic books made extensive use of onomatopoeia. Popular culture historian Tim DeForest noted the impact of writer-artist Roy Crane (1901–1977), the creator of Captain Easy and Buz Sawyer:
It was Crane who pioneered the use of onomatopoeic sound effects in comics, adding "bam," "pow" and "wham" to what had previously been an almost entirely visual vocabulary. Crane had fun with this, tossing in an occasional "ker-splash" or "lickety-wop" along with what would become the more standard effects. Words as well as images became vehicles for carrying along his increasingly fast-paced storylines.[4]
Aside from using onomatopoeic words when writing because it is simply loads of fun, advertising and marketing experts use it as a mnemonic to help customers and potential clients remember their particular product.  Rice Krispies is one example of a product with an onomatopoeic name, and Alka-Seltzer employed their "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz OH what a relief it is" jingle.

It's even been promoted in song - the chorus of John Prine's song Onomatopoeia is one great example as is Todd Rundgren's Onomatopoeia.
In 1963 Roy Lichtenstein used Whaam! as an early example of pop art and in 2002, DC Comics introduced a villain named Onomatopoeia, an athlete, martial artist and weapons expert who speaks sounds imitating the noises around him and is an enemy of Green Arrow and Batman. Did you ever wonder though about when these words were first used - and how? Let's look at a few...Zingers:

zap/zap/

Verb:
Destroy or obliterate: "zap the enemy's artillery".

Noun:
A sudden effect or event that makes a dramatic impact, esp. a sudden burst of energy or sound
Zap as far as I can tell, is the most used and integrated "Z" onomatopoeic word. There are ZAP electric vehicles, ZAP! comics, Zap skimboards, games, cleaners, photographic tools, and music. According to Wikipedia "A zap is an onomatopoetic word for a discharge of electricity or an electric shock." Regarding its origin, Dictionary.com notes that it was used as a sound effect in 1929 and as a verb in 1942 as a comic strip word in Buck Rogers in the Twenty-Fifth Century. 
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zow·ie/ˈzou-ē/

Exclamation:
Expressing astonishment or admiration.
According to merriam-webster.com Zowie was first known to be used in 1902 as an onomatopoeic sound used it imitate a speeding vehicle. I remember it in Batman many years later. Zowie was the Riddler's henchman in Batman: The Animated Series. He was sent by the Riddler to steal goods but was defeated by the caped crusader! It is also the name of aNew Zealand singer-songwriter and drummer, and the name of a fashion accessories company.

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zonk/zäNGk/

Verb:
  1. Hit or strike.
  2. Fall or cause to fall suddenly and heavily asleep or lose consciousness: "I always just zonk out"
Zonk has also been somewhat integrated into our culture.  There are "zonks" in the popular TV show Let's Make a Deal, it is a dice game, and the name of a production company. According to dictionary.com it was first used 1950 as an onomatopoeic term to mean "hit hard."

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zing/ziNG/

Noun:
Energy, enthusiasm, or liveliness.

Verb:
Move swiftly: "an arrow zinging through the air".
Zing is now the name of a cutting machine, the name of an ultralight aircraft, and a technology company that makes collaborative team learning and meeting systems. Random House Dictionary dates its origin to 1910-1925 as 'imitative' and according to Online Etymology Dictionary, zing was used in 1911 to mean 'high pitched sound,' and in 1918 as slang for 'energy, zest.'




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In preparing this post, I realize how powerful pop culture and word play are, how widely comics books and the graphic arts have influenced and continue to influence our world, how word play is not only fun but it can be quite lucrative, and simply how much fun words can be and how easy it is to get lost in their world.  These are all important lessons to share with our kids - especially the reluctant readers and learners.

So in closing, here are some great ways to make learning and words fun:
  • Look at word origins and how the way the use them has changed over time;
  • Make up your own fun onomatopoeic words
  • Draw words to reflect their meaning
  • See how many sentence strings you can generate using onomatopoeia
Personally, 'splat' is one of my favorite onomatopoeic words (but this post I focused on "Z"). Please share your opinions or your favorite onomatopoeic words in the comments and have a great week. In the meantime, enjoy this music video, compliments of Zowie!!!

31 comments:

  1. I love the way you pulled such a fun post together and incorporating a little music into it for Monday's Music Moves Me. Excellent job - way to go!!! Both YouTube videos were quite rhythmatic and made me want to tap, tap, tap my toes! ^.^

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  2. Ooh Welcome to our music fun! I love that way you do this article.

    Thanks for sharing with us and enjoy the rest of your week!

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  3. How awesome! It is a dream of mine to be able to attend Comic Con one of these days.

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  4. Okay maybe I misunderstood or maybe you did. Welcome to our meme I spoke it over with the girls and I totally misconstrued & I apologize. So you're welcome to take a look around by us and the others and maybe get into our music. Wow, your blog is really different and totally love it. I'm your latest follower very nice to meet you. Have a great day & hope you stop by next week too! Did you know we have give-aways going on right now for our 100th wk. celebration. Feel free to browse & have a great day! Welcome aboard & sorry I misunderstood before.

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  5. Kazam! ~ LOL ~ Great post for adults and young adults ~ thanks, ^_^ (A Creative Harbor)

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  6. Z has such a lovely sound so I can see why it's used in comics.

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  7. This reminds me of that song that goes "Clang Clang Clang goes the trolley!" Other favourites are "honk," "quack," "plop," and "whiz." And for the letter Z, I'll choose ZIP! Great post - I read in the local newspaper about Comic Con being in San Diego on the weekend and hope it went well for you.

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  8. Such a fun post and I bet the convention will be interesting. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

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  9. Thanks for linking up with us at Creative Mondays :)have a great week :)

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  10. Oh how I wish I could sit in on your panel discussion. I think it would be fascinating.
    The drama of words really makes things interesting.
    I agree, SPLAT does say it all.

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  11. ZOUNDS, an outstanding post! And I used to sell those four-color items!
    If I ever make it back to SDCC (I haven't been there since 1988!), I'd love to meet you.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  12. zimply zantastic zequential zintilating zygotic zintheziz

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  13. Great post as always. Of course I love the word "tweet" but "ding dong" holds a special place. It always makes me laugh when my husband is talking to me about someone (in front of the kids) and he says..."That ding dong...."

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  14. I just love learning new words! Onomatopoeia Takes me back to watching Batman on TV as a kid.

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  15. Luv it ! Happy WW
    http://www.nycsinglemom.com/2012/07/10/gucci-window-display-featuring-bags-made-of-recycled-paper/

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  16. Wow! Such an interesting post. Love those onomatopoeic words, they add zest to the language and of coursed the comics ~
    :) cheers

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  17. What an interesting and unique blog you have! *off to read more*

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  18. I adore onomatopoeia, and Batman definitely had the best ones! Flarb! Zock! Wach! What's not to love?

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  19. Love the zing.

    Zucchini
    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

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  20. I never realized comics could be so interesting! Thank you for all this info!

    Happy WW, and thank you for visiting! :)

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  21. What fun! Some year soon I hope to make it across the country for the San Diego Comic Con. Until then, I shall have to be geekily giddy with Baltimore's version.

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  22. "Holy Onomatopœia, Batman!" Thanks! I always wanted to know the word that explained all those noises.

    Danielle @ Royalegacy

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  23. What a fun and informative post. I knew it would be as soon as I saw the title :) Rice Krispies! I swear they really did snap, crackle and pop as soon as you poured the milk in.

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  24. The Z may be last of the alphabet but first for those wonderful zinging and zapping words. Hurray for Roy Crane.

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  25. An astounding piece of research! I presume you've heard of a Grawlix. :-) My entry for ABC Wednesday this week is Ziplocked

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  26. wow!! love this post...especially impressed that you are a moderator at ComiCon!! I came over via the Reflexions bloghop and am definitely following you!!

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  27. My fav would have to be ZAP! I have no idea why, but it is :)
    Thanks for linking up for WW!!

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

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  28. I love onomatopoeia in general. I have a few: The sound of adding a dash of wine to the stew is called a "splurch," for example. This was a fun post! Oh - wasn't the character named "Buzz Sawyer," like Buzz Saw? It popped out at me. One more - actually a simple mispronunciation, but when Riley was little, she called a small furry black animal with a white stripe that smelled to high heaven a "stunk." How apt is that?

    I will never understand how, in the Batman series, they used "Biff" as an onomatopoeic word. Makes no sense whatsoever. And that's all the griping I'll do!! Peace, Amy

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