Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sassafras, Boysenberries and the Sound of Words

Do you like the sound of your voice? It's funny, but somehow when we're speaking, we don't hear our voice the same as when we hear it recorded. I remember the first time I heard a recording of my voice. I was in high school and somebody had brought in a tape recorder. None of us had recorded our voices before and so we were playing with it. I remember my shock when I heard my voice. It was so awful I decided I'd never speak aloud again. Of course, that lasted about two minutes. It's too much fun to talk.

The reason I'm remembering all this is that not long ago somebody told me I should make some videos. He's been trying to help me improve my use of media and after he met me face to face and witnessed firsthand how much I like to talk, he told me I was a storyteller. He thought I should try videoing some of my Facebook posts. So I've been playing around with the video on my iPhone. And you know what? I'm still not crazy about the sound of my voice, but I am more used to it now. Anyway, I decided to test out my very first live video on you sweet people. It's about picking boysenberries and is less than a minute long. 

If you listen to it, you can tell me what you think. Stupid? Wait, you wouldn't tell me that. You're too nice, aren't you? Silly? You might tell me that. Boring? You'll probably tell me that. Just keep in mind - this is a test. This is only a test. If it were a real video, I would have hired a voice-over actress and maybe a script writer too. LOL. 

But back to boysenberries and sassafras. I posted a photo of sassafras leaves on my Facebook page and asked how many people had tried sassafras tea. You'd be surprised how many. I'm not sure if I have or not. I think Dad brought in roots and Mom made it once, but I can't positively remember tasting it. But whether you've tasted it or not, you know the word. 

One of my Facebook friends said she loved the word - sassafras. Doesn't it roll off your tongue just the way you think it should? And boysenberry is the same. A treat for the tongue - both the berry and the word. 

I love words that glide through your ears and look good on paper too. I like fun words that sound what they mean. Like nincompoop. Or rain. If you draw that word rain out with a bit of southern drawl, you can hear drops sliding down your window. Or fever. Or hash. Add an 'r' and you have harsh. It sounds just that. But then think willow or whisper. 

So even though I don't particularly like the sound of my voice, I do like the sound of words. And somehow just seeing those words written down plays the sounds in our heads as we're reading. As you're reading, you might not even notice the words. That's the way a story is supposed to read, but if the writer has chosen the right words, the best words, then those words can add so much to the story.  So maybe I need to add a few boysenberries and some sassafras tea to my next story or have a willow tree whispering in the breeze. 

Oh yeah, and there's that word "ow" or "ouch" I said you would hear a lot if you were here picking boysenberries with me. Maybe it will be better if we just sit in the glider and sip some of that sassafras tea. Or eat a piece of that boysenberry cobbler.

Thanks for reading. What words can you think of that are a treat to the ears or that sound exactly as they should?


  1. I think you have a lovely southern accent! I've never even seen a boysenberry let alone taste them.

    1. Oh, that's so nice of you to say, Anonymous. I think of the Georgia drawl or the SC low country accent and feel like I just have country talk. But what can I expect. I am country!! I'll post a close up photo of a boysenberry on Facebook or on Sunday here on One Writer's Journal.

  2. words or phrases that I like:
    Soft as a newborn baby
    better stop now I could go on and on I love words and what they can evoke in my mind--always have since I was very small. Words or language can take you on an adventure, soothe your soul , put you to sleep as I said I could go on and on. But I don't want to bore you. Have fun with your words and keep writing your marvelous stories.

    1. Great words, Anonymous. And you're right. We could go on and on. All day today, since I wrote the post last night, words have been popping into my head that I think, wow, I should have used that one. Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed your scintillating comment. :)

  3. Hi Ann, I loved your video and your sweet southern drawl! It was fun to hear you speak. When you read you use your imagination to think what that person might sound like. Does that make sense? I like words like puffy, fluffy...words are fun to speak & do a great job making me think! Thanks, Linda

    1. You guys keep talking, and I'll start believing I don't sound as horrible as I've always thought! And you're right about imagining what people are like when you read about them. I used to have a job where I talked to people on the phone that I didn't know and I always pulled up an image of them as I talked. Usually when I met them, it was totally off. LOL. And words are fun, Linda. Puffy and fluffy make me think of kittens.


Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.