Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday Word: Clangor

clangor |ˈkla ng ər| ( Brit. clangour)noun [in sing. ]a continuous loud banging or ringing sound he went deaf because of the clangor of the steam hammers.DERIVATIVESclangorous |ˈkla ng ərəs| adjectiveclangorously |ˈkla ng ərəslē| adverbORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Latin clangorfromclangere ‘resound.’
What noises drive you crazy?

I rarely listen to music while writing, as I prefer quiet. Of course, quiet is relative. There's always some noise—birds, traffic, leaves rustling, even the hum of the computer. Some noises are soothing, while others will set your teeth on edge. Car alarms can drive a man—or woman—to homicidal thoughts. I have dark fantasies regarding people who keep revving their motorcycles. I think it's a form of overcompensation, and I'd like to give them a true reason for it.

I live close to a local airport, and when one of the planes rumbles by, it drowns out the television, yet I don't consciously hear them. Airplanes are far louder than yapping dogs but that latter bothers me more.

I can't understand people who go hiking or camping but bring their radios with them. I mean, you can listen to that classic rock or whatever at any time. Why don't you just shut it off and enjoy the natural sounds surrounding you?

However, nature isn't always soothing either. Just ask Jordan Castillo Price how she feels about peepers—the frogs, not the voyeurs. After spending a sleepless summer in the vicinity of mocking bird nest, I decided Harper Lee was wrong about these birds—they need killing.

I live in a quieter part of L.A., but in this town, no matter where you live, sooner or later you'll have helicopters hovering above. They're loud, that's for sure. I couldn't live in a bustling city; I'd go crazy. Hitchcock's Rear Window keeps popping into mind. In the movie James Stewart watches his neighbors through a telephoto lens, and becomes convinced that one of them murdered his wife—his own wife, not Stuart's. I don't watch my neighbors but I hear them. There is a possibly crazy woman somewhere nearby. I occasionally hear her shout, "SHUT UP!" She might be gone, the other day I heard sirens, idling engines, and then protesting sounds from a woman. When I went out I saw two fire trucks in front of an apartment building down the block. Did they take her away to the loony bin? Time will only tell.


  1. Windchimes can be maddening. Power tools. Lawn mowers. Cars with bad mufflers.

    1. Agreed. Windchimes are insidious--they look so innocent but come a windy day and they'll drive you mad. Especially the metal ones.

    2. Heh:

    3. LOL. Strangely, crickets don't bother me at all. Probably because I heard them so much growing up.