Say, in a dialog one would want the reader to read "sleepy" as "sleeeeeeepy" (dragging the e), how would one write it?

Of course one cant write "sleeeepy" as that would be incorrect. Is there perhaps a symbol that can be used or perhaps a writing method?

Exe: "i am so sleepy" but pronounced as "i am so sleeeeeepy"

Note: one would write "i am so slee....py" but further research on ellipsis usage made this incorrect as one would read it with a pause between the syllables instead of dragging the 1st syllable.

  • 10
    There's nothing wrong with misspelling something to indicate a verbal effect in dialog.
    – John Feltz
    Dec 21, 2016 at 3:02
  • Thank you, one would inevitably resort to that in the end should there are no other answers. But, one is quite sure there is another way.
    – Ash
    Dec 21, 2016 at 3:10
  • 4
    Which one is quite sure?
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 21, 2016 at 3:14
  • 'Proper' spelling doesn't make allowances for regional or other accents, so you need to resort to some kind of phonetic spelling if you want to communicate the (non-standard) pronunciation via print.
    – Lawrence
    Feb 19, 2017 at 14:50

1 Answer 1


Exaggerating a sound or syllable like that can have a nice effect. For example, someone is more likely to yawn after reading the word sleeeeeeeepy than in just reading the word sleepy. The two ways I've seen something like this spelled is as you've done above, or with dashes, such as:

I am so sleeeeepy.
I am so sle-e-e-py.

Though, the first one is clearer in how you'd want the reader to read/pronounce it.

Finally, another more conservative way to write this, would be to describe how the words are pronounced:

He responded, "I'm so sleepy", yawning out the last syllable.

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