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Old 08-14-2008, 02:59 PM
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Varieties of the English Language - When Chuck Bass says "bloody", something's wrong

We have talked about this issue a lot on the Fan Fiction Annoyances Thread:
Sometimes, a story simply becomes unbelievable, because the characters don't talk the way they're supposed to. It doesn't matter whether Giles or Spike suddenly have a Texan accent or the English professor at a university has a language level of a first grader.

Most of us write stories in English, which is actually our second or third language. And sometimes we even beta stories in English. This is the place for you to ask native English speakers, whether "bloody" could be said by an American or which country talks about "eggplants".

There could also be a list of people here that can help you, since they are American, British, Australian... If you agree to help out, please post here
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:05 PM
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Loved this thread, I need that! I hope more people show up
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:03 PM
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I'd definitely be willing to help out in this vein. And yes, Americans can say bloody because most of us know it's British slang for damn. Heh
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:45 PM
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Great idea for a thread, Lynn

I do say "bloody" but I'm from Canada I was actually talking about British slang with an American and a British friend on msn a while back, and the American was trying to get the correct usages of British slang for her story. Bloody was one of the words she was trying to clear up

I think the same issue could come up if your character was from California and had a certain vocabulary if they had the surfer thing going on, or if they were trailer-parky or upper-crust, too.
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:17 AM
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MeiTow, I take it you're from Great Britain then?

Jenny, you're right, I think that's a big issue for every writer who writes in English, simply because there are so many words in that language English is one of the languages with the most synonyms and vocabulary.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:51 AM
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Nope. I'm from the midwest U.S. of A. I am, however, smart enough to know the correct usage of quite a bit of slang and I use bloody every once in awhile myself. Besides I quite enjoy British humor so it crops up now and again.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:56 PM
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I wouldn't really say we use the term 'bloody hell' too much in this country anymore, but it is still used every now and again so i wouldn't have an issue with a writer using it for a British character.

However, one of the most common things i've picked up on in fiction wrote by American authors when writing a conversation with British characters, is that we apparently dont abbreviate words. We do.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:46 PM
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Abbreviate words how?

This is interesting... I dunno how much help I'd be personally, as a canadian with english as my second language who mostly snags slang and the likes from television and movies... which are generally american

(And yes, some of those should have capitals, but I'm feeling lazy tonight )
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Old 08-16-2008, 02:52 AM
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Moonie

Oh, can you give a few examples, welshgirlyUK?

Also, I've noticed that the British and the Americans use different words sometimes. Like lift or elevator and I think, eggplant is mostly used in the States... IS that right?
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:32 AM
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Yeah, never write a British character saying the word elevator or trash/garbage can. It's lift and bin. I've never even heard of eggplant. I have no idea what that is, so yes, i'm going with that being American lol.

For example, when people tend to have British people speaking they always use full and correct words in every sentence. i.e do not, or we are. We do use 'dont' and 'were' too in conversation. It's no biggie though, just something i've realised authors do with British characters that they dont do when they have characters of other nationalities speak.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:38 AM
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Eggplant-> Eggplant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I think the words aren't contracted because most people (at least, I assume in the U.S.) have two ideas when it comes to the British accent. Cockney (what we think of as the hillbilly not sophisticated accent) and the posh accent (i.e. the British butler, which oftentimes are made to sound as though they don't use contractions). I believe that most try and emulate this "butler speak" so that their British characters sound smart and appeal more.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:52 AM
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I think the British call it a crouchette or something?

I agree with MeiTow, the "butler speak" is something that most people see as the "ultimate" British. You can't really go wrong with it.
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:51 AM
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I'm still trying to figure out what you're writing that includes a discussion on eggplants...
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gleechild (View Post)
I'm still trying to figure out what you're writing that includes a discussion on eggplants...
I'm currently not writing anything about eggplants
I used it as an example for the phenomenon of different words for the same thing depending on whether you're British or American or Canadian or...
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:40 AM
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good, b/c that would be quite odd :giggle:
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