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Euphonics

30 31 The sibilant S can be amiable, as in whispering and whistling, but it is the hostile hiss of a snake or cat which is heard in spiteful words as, Piss off you stupid ass, stinking skunk Further disgust is added when the sound is SCH or SL. Combining these with the other common sounds of disgust, G or GH, one arrives at the perfect word for expressing contempt and loathing schlugh This ideal was approached by Shakespeare when he named Shylock, and it is rivalled by several Yiddish words of contempt such as schlock, schlepp and schmuck. Associations of sludge and the slimy serpent in German Schlange are in words such as slither, slip, slop, slide, slurp, sleaze, slug, sloth, slur, sly, slouch, slovenly and sulky. In these words the gliding, limpid liquid represented by the L sound is sullied by the S, making it a sluggish ooze or slough. Sl S ince youre such a slippery slug, Hissed Sally with a sullen shrug, Slink to Susies sluttish slum. Shes your sort you slimy scum. swine slurping swill The R sound, said Socrates, denotes rapidity and hardness. The first is illustrated by numerous words such as hurry, scurry, rush and tear, run a race, whirr round, revolve, raging torrent and roaring current. Hardness and R go together in phrases like rigid, firm and rugged as a rock of granite. The two qualities are combined in words for abrasive actions such as break, rend, crush, crumble given in Cratylus, fracture, rupture, grind, rub, crash, scrape and crunch. R R oughly runs the raging torrent Over rocks and crags abhorrent, Rolling rapid with a roar Bursting on the rugged shore. running round the rugged rocks
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