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What are examples of cacophony?

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Quick Answer

An example of cacophony would be "We want no parlay with you and your grisly gang who worked your wicked will," spoken by Winston Churchill, according to the University of Kentucky. Another example of cacophony might be "Crash, bang, clang!" says the Changing Minds organization.

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Full Answer

Cacophony is a figure of speech or literary term used to create a special effect with its unpleasant, unmelodious, sharp, hissing or harsh sounds. The word "cacophony" in Greek actually means "bad sounds" according to Carson-Newman University. It is the opposite of euphony.

Typically, cacophony is used in literature or in speeches to create a negative response or to elicit negative emotions in the reader or in the audience. The writer or presenter wants the people present to feel feelings such as distress, disgust, discomfort or fear.

To create a cacophony effect, the writer or presenter will look for words that have hard consonant sounds such as "d" or "t." These words when put together will have a percussive beat with a harsh effect. The writer or presenter also might choose to break up the sentence structure and to disrupt the flow of words as well as other grammatical nonsense for greater effect. Churchill used the words when talking with an enemy to show his distaste and to inspire fear and discomfort in his enemy.

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