La cacofonía es la repetición de palabras o sílibas que suenan mal al oído.
I discovered la cacofonía, my Spanish word of the day, while reviewing the rules for use of definite articles. Generally, the masculine definite articles – el and los – are used with masculine nouns and the feminine definite articles – la and las – are used with feminine nouns. But there is an exception to this rule. Some singular feminine nouns use the masculine definite article – el. Two examples are el agua (the water) and el hada (the witch). Why? Because any feminine noun that begins with a stressed a or a stressed ha uses the masculine singular definite article in order to avoid cacophony or la cacofonía. In their plural forms, these two feminine nouns use the feminine plural definite article – las. As you can see, cacophony does not exist with las aguas and las hadas. Gustavo Balcázar demonstrates la cacofoniá in this SlideShare presentation: Artículos determinados.
La cacofonía is known as one of the vicios lingüísticos, or bad habits, that can occur while speaking or writing in Spanish. These are errors that impede communication and understanding. Angela María Berigán and Hellen Piza have created a PowToon presentation on YouTube that defines and explains some of the vicios lingüísticos that can occur while communicating in Spanish. In the video, you will see definitions and examples of these bad habits such as cacofonía(cacophony), pleonasmo(redundancy or pleonasm), ambigüedad(ambiguity), solecismo(grammatical error or solecism), and barbarismos(incorrect pronunciation or spelling).
In learning about la cacofonía, I came across this quirky YouTube video in English that defines cacophony. It’s a little strange, but it made me laugh.
If you watched the above video by Brandon Luu, I hope it left you smiling or laughing.
Gustavo Balcazar has published an interesting presentation on SlideShare about expessions and sayings that involve animals. My absolute favorite is Tener la mosca detrás de la oreja. It is used when you have an instinct or an intuition that something is going to occur, that is to say, that you use this saying to express that you suspect that something is going to happen. If you expect that something negative is going to happen, you can use this saying to say that you smell a rat.