Words That Don’t Mean What They Sound Like | Reader’s Digest
We're all familiar with the onomatopoeia—a word that phonetically mimics what it describes (e.g. “plop,” “achoo,” “oink,” etc). And we all know that some words—like “hysterical” “ecstatic,” and “austere,” etc, even manage to look like what they describe, somehow. But what happens when language neither sounds nor looks like its meaning?