Words have sounds and rhythms which reinforce their meaning: ‘flip-flop’ echoes the sound and rhythm made by that particular type of footwear….and ‘thud’, ‘bang’, ‘crash’ etc. are obviously words that echo the sound they represent; words like ‘shuffle’, ‘flutter’ imitate movement as well as sound…..
‘Ping-pong’ sounds even better the other way round – gnip-gnop gnip gnop gni….oops…pick it off the floor…there it is…there, under the chair…
Likewise the word – SPLASH – is an ideogram of the event it signifies:
1) The initial sibilant – S – replicates the hiss of the stone cutting through the air (SSS);
2) then comes the plosive – P – as the stone breaks the surface of the water (SSS – P);
3) the labial – L – pictures the stone gliding under the sutface (SSS-P-LLL);
4) The concluding – ASH – is the plume of spray sent up by the stone as it disappears into the water (SSS – P – LLL- AAASHSHSH).
‘glides’ has the sounds to suggest after an initial thrust, effortless motion in/on/through water – G….. LLL….IDE….SSSSS
and it sounds even better in French:
Le cygne chasse l’onde avec ses larges palmes
And finally I remember from my schooldays when we had to learn poetry by heart, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s
” the moan of doves in immemorial elms,
and murmuring of innumerable bees. “