New York icon Jerry Orbach is dead. Uh oh, here comes tomorrow’s New York Times….
To most of the world, a New York City detective is a cynical, sarcastic flatfoot with alimony headaches and a smart mouth— … when he claps the handcuffs on his suspects or says something clever, two deep metallic sounds ring out: DOYNG-DOYNG!
Just one second:
Reporter Michael Wilson and his editors must feel pleased with themselves, bringing onomatopoeia to Law and Order’s signature interscene sound. But by any definition they are late to the game. Law and Order’s sound has been described on the Internet and in print in various forms, “doyng-doyng” (I won’t put it in all-caps like the Times) has never been one of them. Even the alternate spelling “doing-doing” looks to Google to be unused.
So just how are people spelling the Law and Order sound? Let’s take a look:
- The previously-linked MovieWavs Page says “Gavel sound between scenes.” No thank you.
- MG at Bad Samaritan says “Dun Dun!”
- In an article not worth reading, Sherry from Horkin Ramblings finds “…yet another episode of Law and Order (DONG! DONG!)”
- Poster Cyra at 911 Job Forums claims “I can usually tell what’s going to happen five minutes after the GONG GONG.”
- Marie-Jo the Lightspeed Chick loves “the Law and Order CD-Rom game” for its tong-tong!
Strong dissention isn’t it? It’s a good thing the Times is making itself look ridiculous to bring us a doyng-doyng for the ages. When bloggers, job forum participants, and WAV repositories fail us, the Times will be there to show us how to live.
Yet we have something better than a doyng-doyng. We have a chung chung.
Chung chung is already popular enough to wear, as evidenced by this early chung chung sighting from the Gothamist. Although the T-shirt seems to be discontinued, we can presume that enough Television Without Pity posters used the phrase to warrant its creation. Chung chung is not without its detractors; I originally felt like poster Brian on Daniel Boud’s site: wouldn’t “dong-dong” be a better sound? But a few weeks later came Mollie Wilson’s article in the Village Voice, abstaining from Law and Order for Lent and using chung-chung to describe it. Chung chung has had print legitimacy for the better part of a year. I have now also seen the light: Chung chung reigns supreme.
I look forward to seeing a future New York Times corrections page:
In Friday’s article “To Viewers and Police, Jerry Orbach Was Briscoe”, the sound “chung-chung” was incorrectly identified as “DOYNG-DOYNG”. The Times regrets the error.
Then I can get back to more important business: fantasizing about the blonde with the chubby cheeks. Yay! So squishy!