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Good design that goes unnoticed — 4

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This is my fourth post in as many as possible in this series. This one is about good design in language.

There’s a term for good aesthetic design in language, Phonaesthetics,

I’ve had mixed responses to telling people about this, so, I thought I’d look into this and explore the concept of good design in language.

The first time I thought about this topic was quite a while ago when I saw the Woody and Tinny words sketch by Monty Python.

A phrase from the linked page, which apparently is considered beautiful purely because of how it sounds, is_ ‘cellar door’_

Similarly, there are some words which just sound right or to phrase it differently it sometimes makes sense that the word for a particular thing is that word.

So, I started looking into this and found that this is actually an insanely large branch of study in linguistics and I know I’m no expert at any of this, so, I’m going to limit myself to a basic reflection by giving 2 examples on what I thought was good design in language and the specific branch of study for each.

The effect essentially says that on shown the below image,

Source :
People are more likely to associate the sound ‘kiki’ with the shape with sharp edges and Bouba to the one with rounded edges.

I think this has implications on how to design a brand or a phrase based on what emotion you want to evoke in your listener.

Pentasyllabic is a word that has 5 syllables, which is what the word means.

Reminds me of this passage by Gary Provost.

There’s more to come on this topic, will do a follow up post soon with more.

Thank you for reading