Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pet peeve of the day: Nonsense sound effect words.


These are absolute verbal junk, invented perhaps because someone thought they sounded cute.


Often, they are used to describe random junk that serves no purpose -- funny in its own right.


Once you start listening for them, you realize that they are everywhere.


And they must be stopped. You don't get to just make up a few nonsense syllables that rhyme and pretend they are a word.


If you want to say something, I'm certain there is an actual word that would suit your purposes.


Also : wheel covers must be banned.

More and more modern cars are coming equipped with alloy wheels, as they seem to be perceived as some kind of status symbol -- the bigger, the better, even if it's an expensive, useless item that detracts from performance. A good number of them, however, are still equipped with steel wheels with wheel covers.

Commonly called "hubcaps," which they are not, wheek covers are those painted plastic disks that attach over a steel wheel to dress it up. A modern trend is for the plastic cover to make it appear, at a glance, as though the wheel is an alloy one. While the author makes no comment on the aesthetic effects of these, his complaint about them is that they never remain in place for very long.

You've probably mostly noticed wheel covers laying uselessly by the roadside. They are a pain to remove without damaging and even harder to replace, so whenever wheels are rotated or tires changed, a wheel cover is invariably improperly seated. Then, all it takes is one good bump or hard stop, and the thing comes flying off of your vehicle, eventually to end up as a gutter-frisbee.

On my walk this morning, I observed no less than five of these in under two miles.

Furthermore, whatever I think of them on cars, it looks ridiculous to have three on, one off.

So, whatever wheels you have, that's what you get. Don't cover it with anything.

For what it's worth, the hub is not the wheel, but the part of the car that the wheel attaches to. On some vehicles, typically trucks without wheel covers, there is a plastic or metal cap over it to prevent dirt and grime from encrusting the lugnuts and preventing convenient removal of the wheel. This is a actually a hubcap, and is still allowed.


  • At 3:39 PM , Anonymous dug said...

    i contend that making up nonsense words is a time-honored and worthwhile pursuit. don't freeze it man, let it breathe and grow.

  • At 8:19 PM , Blogger ryan said...

    As a big Lewis Carroll fan, I have to concur with the Dugs sentiment.

    However, many of those words are indeed crappy. Wishy-washy, knick-knack, those are just reduplications.

    But the others are fairly ancient: gewgaw coming from the Middle English giuegaue; bric-a-brac, an Old French term; namby-pamby, while annoying, has its roots in the work of Alexander Pope- derived from a writer named Ambrose.

    Flip-flopper is one I would nominate for your list of those terms which deserve a moratorium.

    PS: I hate wheel covers so much.


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