Date: Sun, 29 Jun 1997 18:27:42 -0500

From: Grant Barrett gbarrett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]JERRYNET.COM

Subject: Noises

I have read comparitive studies of how animal sounds are interpreted in different languages, but I

wonder if there is any recent work on other meaningful sounds?

What brings this to mind is the crowd response to last night's movie trailers. As the movie was

Face/Off at 12:40 a.m. (yes, in the morning), it was a young, male crowd. Whenever a good

trailer played there was the usual "woohoo" and the exclamatory "yeah!" and the appreciative

exhalation of air that sounds like blowing on soup and seem to be a version of the "whew" of


But it was the response to the bad trailers that interests me: it was the sound of a buzzer, like that

heard on game shows when the contestant loses, kind of an "errrnh". There was also the "puh", a

scoffing small burst of air through the lips.

Is there a record of "new" sounds? I'm looking for something beyond raspberries, tsk, chup, umm

(the child's "I'm telling"), a ha, oh, etc.

One other sound that I find interesting is the largely male "huuaw", an slow aspirated exhalation

from the back of the throat. It's usually given in appreciation of something cool or beautiful, and

seems to be related to the "ohhs" and "ahhs" of a fireworks-watching crowd.

Grant Barrett