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5 senses

5 senses and creating imagery with words

How do we describe images in our heads using language? Try describing a great cereal to a friend. e.g. “The cereal is colourful, crunchy, has a fruity aroma, a sweet flavour and best enjoyed with cold milk.” In this example, images are painted using words that appeal to the 5 senses.

Seeing – “colourful”

Hearing – “crunchy”

Smelling – “fruity aroma”

Tasting – “sweet flavour”

Touching – “cold milk”

Words that describe the 5 senses

The 5 senses can be described through several words. Speakers use these words interchangeably when speaking or writing about what have been seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched. Knowing words that describe the 5 senses can improve a person’s expression.

Visual – see, sight, eyesight, appearance, view, vision, visibility

Auditory – hear, audio, earshot, audition, listen, recording, sound

Olfactory – smell, scent, whiff, aroma, stench, fragrance, stink

Gustatory – taste, flavour, palatable, sweet, salty, bitter, sour

Tactile – touch, feel, gentle, rough, itchy, hot, cold

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Word tools that appeal to the 5 senses

We create imagery in people’s heads using word tools or literary devices that appeal to the 5 senses. Meaning of the words used can be literal or figurative.

Literal meaning is stating exactly what you mean using adjectives.

e.g. “The groom is very tall, he has a deep voice, wears a musky cologne, he cooks delicious food and he has a firm handshake.”

Adjectives that appeal to the 5 senses:

Sight – “tall”

Audio – “deep”

Smell – “musky”

Taste – “delicious”

Touch – “firm”

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Figurative meaning is different from the one stated. The words must be analysed by the listener in order to understand what is being said.

e.g. “The groom is a lamp post, he has a boom box in his throat, he smells like leather covered with flowers, he is Chef Boyardee and he can break your hand when he greets you.”

Figures of speech that appeal to the 5 senses:

Sight – “The groom is a lamp post”

This metaphor describes the man’s appearance presupposing that the listener has seen a lamp post before. Since the lamp post is tall, thin and still, the listener can presume that the man is tall, thin and probably standing at attention.

Audio – “boom box”

This onomatopoeia describes the man’s throat presupposing that the listener has heard a boom box before. Since the boom box has loud bass, the listener can presume that the man has a deep voice or he speaks loudly.

Smell – “smells like leather covered with flowers”

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This simile describes the man’s cologne presupposing that the listener has smelled both leather and flowers before. Since leather is musky and flowers are sweet, the listener can presume that the cologne is musky and sweet.

Taste – “Chef Boyardee”

This allusion describes the man’s cooking presupposing that the listener knows about the world’s famous chef who opened his own canned-food business in Pennsylvania, USA. Since Chef Boyardee is known to be great at cooking, the listener can presume that the man can cook very well.

Touch – “break your hand”

This hyperbole or exaggeration describes the man’s handshake presupposing that the listener has an idea of what breaking your hand may feel like. Since the expression is extreme, the listener can presume that the man shakes hand very firmly or is extremely rough.

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See also:

Learning styles – visual, auditory, read-write, kinesthetic

Active Learning and the Students

Personalised Learning

Active Learning and the Students

Bad Grades: Tips For Students, Parents, Teachers

Lack Of Focus: A Guide For Parents

Parents Help Students: Tips For Home Work

SEA exam: 5 tips for stressed-out parents

CXC/CSEC exam tips for students ready or not

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