1. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92

    Dialect/Colloquialisms

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Elgaisma, Aug 8, 2010.

    How does your dialect or language affect the way you write and punctuate? I've grown up around three very distinct dialects and its a nighmare working out where to put commas and full stops.

    I remember an English teacher handing me back my essay telling me to read it putting in punctuation where I took a breath. Read the whole A4 page without taking a breath:) Scouse just doesn't use punctuation when spoken. Scots/Doric when spoken uses the comma to the detriment of the fullstop hence the seminal Scottish book of the early 20th Century only placing the fullstop at the end of a paragraph.

    I have a weird Scots/Doric/Scouse/Yorkshire (background)

    I love poems and stories that are written in their m'ither tongue.
     
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i grew up and was schooled in the largely non-dialectic, unaccented westchester, ny... meaning that i/we spoke pretty plain american english, pronouncing words as they'd be shown in a dictionary, without any regional or ethnic influences...

    that, combined with having been born with a 'good ear' and facile mind/tongue connection allowed me to pick up actual accents/dialects so easily i'd be taken for a 'local' almost within hours of arriving anywhere... that included being able to parrot [and learn, to some extent] foreign languages, as well... it's been both a blessing and a curse, but a definite boon to me as a writer...
     
  3. Alex_Hartman
    Offline

    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    At a desk staring at a blank notebook.
    I think I use too many commas because of the way I speak. I feel like I have to put a comma e,v,e,r,y,w,h,e,r,e, because if I were to read my writing, I would naturally pause in that spot, whether it's correct or not. Most of the time I think it is correct; it's just really excessive.
     
  4. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Can having no strong dialect be a hamper in writing? One advantage mine does give me is the ability to vary my characters speech more, place the emphasis in different places.

    Doubt anyone can pick up the Scots, Scouse and Yorkshire dialects in a few hours lol they are a whole new language:) The accent yes but the actual dialects are different.
     
  5. Loaded-Dice
    Offline

    Loaded-Dice Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    I don't think that grammar and punctuation is as much of a big deal as way you write words out. Previous sentence and this one is written with broad yorkshire accent. You might notice lack of "a's" and "the" in it.

    'Owever, droppin' letters from words that yer sayin' t' sort of write it 'ow it's spoken make's it a bit easier to understand. But then tha's got to know what dialect is in first bloody place. If tha not familiar wi' dialects or not 'eard 'em before, tha might 'av' a bit o' a problem. Also makes it bit 'arder to read a suspect.
     
  6. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    LOL see I didn't notice until you pointed it out:)
     
  7. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    My RP accent (or rather, it used to be RP before it became a bit like Julie Andrews or Angela Lansbury), and being exposed mostly to grammatically correct English in my formative years has been an absolutely huge asset. All these questions like 'lay vs laid' or 'sat vs seated' just aren't a problem. It seems to me that a great deal of work is required to learn 'correct' English later on, and I certainly admire people who manage to achieve this.

    I don't think it has totally stopped me being able to depict or understand dialects. If anything, it has made me more sensitive to them, and like Maia, I've always had a good ear and learnt other languages easily. I couldn't write a novel where all the characters spoke in e.g. a Cumberland accent--although some accents like London, Cornish, or New Zealand, that I am familiar with, I could.

    If you are familiar with a particular dialect, that can make your writing interesting, but it's not really possible to use it throughout the whole work anyway.

    You may take it from this I am a great proponent for the teaching of standard English in English lessons. Shock Horror! So many other countries keep to standard forms in the classroom this is not an issue, but of course in the UK anarchy is king. I believe that children in the UK often do not get the chance to hear English that is of a high enough standard for them to make themselves understood outside their immediate area, nor are they as grammatically correct when they write or as articulate when they speak as they should be--but that's another issue, I guess!
     
  8. BrandonWilde
    Offline

    BrandonWilde New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maidstone
    When using colloquial dialogue, Irivine Welsh writes phonetically and uses apostrophes to replace unnecessary letters - its quite hard to read for those without knowledge of the scots dialect but rather effective when you get the knack of reading it.
     
  9. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Its less anarachical than it used to be, there was a period in the 60s were grammar and spelling went completely out the window. Its no longer like that. Although not sure I spelt anarchical right:)

    I'm in the unusual position that my accent is RP but my dialect isn't:) I went to eleocution lessons had all the right instruction but I am not a good example, my words are mostly complete but its the grammar where my dialect comes into play.

    Lewis Grassic Gibbon is one of my favourite writers I think he got it about right. Also they are in the process of where I live of placing Scots and Gaelic back into the classroom:) I love the way old words that may be forgotten are being used again like puddock, maukin/malkin etc
     
  10. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    When my mother was growing up in St Dennis in Cornwall, she had an excellent teacher who spoke and expected standard English in English lessons. Perhaps as a result, THREE of her friends are bestselling novelists and my mother also writes articles and stories. BUT at that school they also learnt a lot of local history, legends etc, and in singing lessons they did all the old songs which today are mostly forgotten, so their roots were not neglected at all.
     
  11. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I think the latter must have a baring on it, because you can't say Liverpool of the 50s/60s was unproductive in terms of creative talent:) It still has a good number of creative talents.

    I do wish grammar came more naturally to me though.
     
  12. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    what are you trying to mean with 'anarachical' [which is not a word]?

    were you meaning 'anarchical'?... as in 'anarchy'?
     
  13. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    That's the one knew I had spelt it wrong:)
     

Share This Page