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Remember back in school (or still in school, like me) when someone got called to the office and all the kids in the class made an 'ooou' sound with the intonation slowly rising? Yeah... Anyway, I was just thinking about it, and I was wondering what the best way of spelling it would be so other people would understand how it was said, or pronounced? Also in music, vocalists might use this sound, but people who interpret the lyrics put something like 'ohh' which is definitely not the same.

So what do you think the best way of spelling it would be?

If you don't know the sound I'm talking about, say 'you', but without the 'y'. If you're taking Spanish like me, it's the Spanish 'u'.

  • That's the annoying thing about spelling, it doesn't indicate pitch change. I don't think there is a good answer. For example, 'ugh' as spelled in comics is supposed to represent a noise in the back of the throat but if you ask people to read it, many will say it as a word. 'ug'. 'ooouu' or something similar seems as good as any. – chasly from UK Aug 27 '15 at 23:08
  • What is the situation exactly? It is unclear the context of why and when this sound is produced. – Mitch Aug 31 '15 at 17:00
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I'd go with ooooh, and let the reader work out the pitch change from context:

"I'm so sick and tired of you always asking me questions, Benjamin! Pack your things and report to the principal. I won't have you in my class." Mr. Smith yelled. Benjamin's class mates mocked him "ooooh" while he quickly packed his things and left.

or

"I'm so sick and tired of you always asking me questions, Benjamin! Pack your things and report to the principal. I won't have you in my class." Mr. Smith yelled. Benjamin felt on top of the world and his class mates cheered him on "ooooh" while he packed his things and left for principal Puddlefrock's office.

  • But it still looks like 'oh' not 'uu' or 'ou' or 'oo'. – Shane Smiskol Aug 29 '15 at 16:14
  • @TrivisionZero - It's fine. The double O trumps the H. See google.com/search?q=define+ooh&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 – aparente001 Aug 29 '15 at 23:48
  • @TrivisionZero You could add more o's, pushing the h further out of view, thus strengthening people's incentive to pick an 'oo' interpretation of the sound. 'Oh' is a long sound in itself, and when people do want to lengthen it, generally they add h's: 'Ohhhhh'. So I think you're safe, whatever you choose. – Born2Smile Aug 30 '15 at 17:04

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