1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Diacritics in your native language...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Wreybies, May 21, 2013.

    For those of you who speak native languages in which there is heavy use of diacritics, my question is this:

    When you are writing just for you, like say, in a notebook or a diary, something never intended to be given to someone else, do you adhere strictly to the use of diacritics in your language, or do you let that slide a bit because it's your stuff, for you, and you know what you wrote?

    I have reason in my story for some notes to be found, written without correct use of diacritics, leading to a misunderstanding. Therein lies the cause for my question.
     
  2. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends. If I'm in a rush, i.e. writing lecture notes, then no. If not, I put them in. Due to the fact that I mostly speak English nowadays, I find myself putting them in more and more often, solely to remember the original spelling and pronounciation.

    Then again, I wouldn't say it's my native language. I grew up with two native languages.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, Gallow. Appreciate your input. I too grew up with two languages, but I'm a poor example for myself in this question. My work makes me pay a level of attention to such things that puts me out of the norm.

    BTW, nice to see you still around. :)
     
  4. Rafiki
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    Rafiki Active Member

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    I write in English, the only REAL language.

    'Merica
     
  5. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    In handwriting, I use them as I was taught at school, and I don't know of anybody who doesn't (but people usually don't write much anyway). In typing, many people omit it unless it's something official. I'm used to typing properly, as it is a part of my job, so I type properly even when just taking notes for myself.
     
  6. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    I don't think you should ask writers whether they use diacritics - I think writers might be the only profession to take writing notes and emails seriously. However, I'd think that in fiction, it's not too far a stretch for a note to contain no diacritics and be misinterpreted, especially if it's a private note.
     
  7. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    And I'm pretty sure this will depend on the language in question.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I make notes in English lol, but if I'm making notes on my novel, I shorten the sentences to things like, I dunno...

    "Rewrite Will. Add description. Show OS vs spirit in Moby scene."

    And then a year later I come back and I'm like... :confused: lol

    My only other language is Chinese, which also doesn't have diacritics, so who knows?
     
  9. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It would be extremely weird if I didn't use them, especially because the meaning changes easily in both of our official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Despite the context, it'd just look funny anyway.

    moka = a blunder
    mökä = loud noise

    mål = a goal
    mal = a moth

    This depends a lot on the language, I think. Is the language in your story made up? The bigger the case for a misunderstanding, the likelier it is that the writer would use them. In a hurry, the umlaut becomes a straight line, but you'd still write it there. If the language is "ingrained" in you, they come naturally and might not be left out because of laziness. Or as is the case with me and French, I keep forgetting them :redface:
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, the language us not made up. It's Portuguese. And I think you are right in that it probably depends on the language. i suffer from over-thinking things and here's why I asked. I personally am very rigid in the use of diacritics in Spanish, one of my two mother tongues, but this is because I am a professional translator and interpreter, so I am not a good example. In much of the work I translate from Spanish to English, I see a wide range of adherence to the using of diacritics, from never missing a one to not a single one in place. And they matter in Spanish. They're not just decorative. But again, not a good example because the work I translate either comes from highly educated attorneys or poorly educated street toughs. :/
     
  11. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Shoot, I don't know Portuguese at all, haven't a clue. You're gonna have to ask a Portuguese speaking person to be sure... or surer, since there must be individual differences. Maybe some drop them, especially if less educated? (just guessing, e.g. in Finnish's case, even the less educated knows where to throw the dots).
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I actually speak Portuguese with a fair level of fluency and I have many friends who speak Portuguese, but alas, they are all interpreters as well. :redface::D
     
  13. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Portuguese isn't made up? I thought it was just boss-level Spanish :rolleyes:

    (I kid, I kid)
     
  14. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Actually you couldn't be more wrong, but I won't get into it and derail the thread. Suffice to say English is an amalgam of other (some more complete) languages, but is convenient since it is spoken much more widely than other languages.


    As to the original question, in my native language we use diacritics and even when I write only for myself (like notes or other stuff) I try to strictly adhere to them. I believe though that it depends on the level of the education one has gotten as much as to personal preference.
     
  15. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Fun fact -American english as we know it is consisted of stolen Latin, Greek, and many other roots. But that's just about as much as I know as i am only in English 11 in high school, so anything else I will probably back. Spanish is a direct descendant of Latin, so most languages have just branched off of the old Greek or Latin languages. ( I think?) :confused:
     
  16. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    A visiting professor from Cambridge once said that if you remove all words with Greek and Latin roots from English then you can't form full sentences.
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Having majored and degreed in applied linguistics, allow me to dispel the idea that the above noted feature of English is unique to that language. With a few exceptions like Icelandic (isolationism being the factor there), ALL Indo-European languages in current use have similarly storied histories with lending and borrowing happening on an ongoing basis. Modern Spanish (Castellano) for example has a gigantic battery of Arabic words and outside of the actual Celtic languages it is one of the largest reservoirs of active Celtic roots in current use. French, one of the other Latin Daughters allied herself with the Germanic Branch and Romanian, yet another Latin Daughter, got married to the Slavic Family. The 'muttiness' of English is in no way unique. To say that it is just a grab-bag of linguistic scraps is incorrect and the features it does posses that are being referenced are common to all extent I.E. languages.
     
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  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My only native language is English, but I do know a bit of a few other languages.

    I am also a shameless punster. In English, puns are pretty mush all based on homophones and words with dual meaning. But I do appreciate the hilarity that can arise from words that differ only in the presence or absence of diacriticals.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The example we both saw away from the forum is what gave me the idea within my story. :D
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course you should leave them out in that case, since it's vital to a plot point... i also think that's a clever and intriguing one and i'd love to know what the misunderstanding consists of...
     

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