Meaning of Cacophony

The cacophony is a sound nice little generated when the combination of various components of a word or phrase lack harmony, ie that are unpleasant to the ear. As the dictionary of the DigoPaul explains, it is a term of Greek origin that means “foul-mouthed”.

The cacophony is produced by a repetition of phonemes or the pronunciation of a word that when joined to others in the same sentence are shocking. On the other hand, it can be used to mark examples of the insufficiency of language, as occurs in derogatory tones.

The most common language vices are:

Amphibology: it is an unclear expression, it is presented by using double meanings that give rise to more than one interpretation, for example by changing the place of words, eg: Saying «Electric pocket fans» when we want to express «Pocket fans electrical ».

Pleonasm or redundancy: it occurs when we use words that are not necessary, when we repeat terms or concepts in the same sentence. It is an incorrect use of language. For example, use phrases such as: “go down”, “shut up”, “crowd of people”, “I thought to myself”, “etc”.

Arcaism: Use of old-fashioned terms in the ways of writing. For example, words like: “curriculum” instead of “curriculum”, “I saw it” meaning “I saw it”, among many others.

Barbarism: Using wrong phrases or words when speaking or writing. Some examples may be: “put the points on the hers”, “you passed the exam.”

Cacophony: repetition of words or phrases that generate redundancy and that are sonically unpleasant. To give a few examples: “atrocious sosobra”, “shrimp caramel caramel shrimp”.

Foreigners: phrases or voices of foreign origin, such as “garage”, “sweater”, “corner” or “sandwich”.

Inappropriateness: Using words with a different use than what they actually have. Some wrong phrases that serve to exemplify this explanation are: “examine the subject in depth” to say “examine carefully”, “fatal” when you want to say “fatal.”

Hiatus: Use redundancy in vowel sounds. Two vowels located consecutively one with the other. Some phrases that exemplify this vice are: “I and Ignacio”, “the water”, “etc”.

Solecism: An error of inaccuracy in clarity when speaking. Syntax error. A phrase that can exemplify this vice is: “I told him not to enter.”

Ignorantism: Speaking in a way that does not respect the rules allowed within the grammar. An example of this misuse is “let me tell you” to request accessibility from the listener. The correct way to express this would be “let me tell you”

Queismo: When the term “that” is used inappropriately. There is also “dequeismo” which is the use of the phrase “that” incorrectly.

Returning to cacophony, it is one of the most common vices in both spoken and written language, however it can also serve as a resource when making poetry, for example Quevedo used to use it and many poets of the Golden Age did it, anyway, you have to be very careful when using this type of wrong way to express yourself, there must be a rigorous need for them.

Cacophony, in this sense, is often used in language teaching, especially with children, when it is part of the tongue twisters.

In these cases, the sayings that present cacophony constitute an interesting exercise for the student to improve their pronunciation. For example: “Three sad wheat tigers were wheat in a wheat field.

Other tongue twisters with cacophonies are:

He who eats little coconut, buys little coconut;
the one that covers little layer, little layer is bought.
As I eat a little coconut, I buy a little coconut,
and as I cover little layer, I buy little layer.

Pedro Pérez asks permission to leave for Paris,
to put on a false wig because it looks like a peeled pig

On the other hand, cacophony can also be used as a resource in literature. There are even occasions when cacophony is used so that the reader ends up creating, without intention, a word that they do not want to pronounce by combining the syllables of different terms.

The antonym of cacophony is euphony, a notion that refers to the sound effect that is pleasant or aesthetic when sounds are combined in an expression.


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