Why Are Letters Shaped the Way They Are?

The meaning of the shapes was of letters…


One of the most documented examples of iconicity is the bouba/kiki effect, similar to the takete–maluma effect. People associate bouba with round objects, and kiki with pointy ones.

The article also brings to mind the old vaudeville comedy rule that “k sounds are funny”, which some here may recall from the Neil Simon play, The Sunshine Boys.


Enjoyable read. My daughter made a scratchy “k” sound the other day and I could tell she thought it was pretty neat so I repeated it back to her, which really made her excited. I realized how it’s not easy to do and requires bending the tongue a certain way. The article also made me think about playing “peek-a-boo” and how you couldn’t really play without saying the words. I realized when saying the “boo” at the end, it’s automatic that your eyes will open wide and round to form that sound. Kinda fun. :slightly_smiling_face:

There’s lots of examples in poetry or writers using certain letters and sounds to evoke a feeling. One example or R being rough and K being pointy:


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