1. Iulia
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    Iulia New Member

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    The Brooklyn Region

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Iulia, Nov 18, 2008.

    In my story, although I'm not using real places, I have a person who is the equivalent of a person from Brooklyn, or around that region. I'm talking about Italian immigrants here, not just northerners; and while I know not all Italians living in Brooklyn have bad grammar and live in a bad part of town, this kid does. I'm afraid people may make the false presumption that he is a southerner with bad grammar, instead of a northerner because they obviously can't hear an accent. The thing is, I myself am southern, so I know little quirks in speech of the south, (i.e. "knee high to a grasshopper", "what in tarnation", "half pint", "yes'm or no'm") because I grew up around them - what I'm looking for is the northern equivalent to this sort of thing. Maybe a little more discreet. Anyway, if anyone knows of anything I could use to portray this person without mentioning actual towns or even countries, I would appreciate that very much. Thanks,
    Iulia
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, brooklyn isn't a 'region'... it's one of the 5 boroughs of new york city... and within brooklyn are several distinct 'areas' or 'neighborhoods'... each of which 'enclave' has its own ethnic makeup and cultural flavor...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Brooklyn,_New_York_neighborhoods

    much depends on when your story takes place... nowadays, for instance, the majority of brooklyn's population is no longer italian, as it was a century ago... and then you have to decide which part of brooklyn your character is from...

    the 'brooklynese' most commonly used in movies is pretty distinctive and you could replicate it in your written dialog fairly easily, just with sentence structure and word choices... but if you overdid all the 'dese's and 'dose's and 'hoid's and such, it would soon be more annoying than anything...

    you need to do the research on your own... get some movie videos where the setting is the right time frame and place and listen to how the characters speak... and study how novelists whose characters are overt brooklynites do it...

    hope that helps a bit...
    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    Living in Brooklyn for the past 12 years, I have become quite familiar with all the clichés associated with the character you’re trying to portray.

    I’m not even sure where to start….

    “forgetaboutit”
    “Hey oh, oh hey”
    “Hey, tough guy”
    “let’me ask you a question”
    “You talking to me?”
    “You know who I am?”

    Beyond these suggestions, don’t forget to make the character an aggressive talker. Always on the attack. Never say sorry, unless the other person is bigger than you.

    I know its a little over the top, but maybe you can work it in. If you need more PM me.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    With the aggressive talker, there's also body language - crowding the other person, head thrust forward, also talking with his hands - You don't need a gag to shut him up, just tie his hands ;)
     

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