1. bkwerm

    bkwerm New Member

    Mar 27, 2011
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    How to Write Cold Speech

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by bkwerm, Mar 27, 2011.

    I am writing a story in which one of the characters has a bad cold. I'm trying to make his dialogue sound like his nose is stuffy but I am having a hard time doing so. I tried plugging up my nose and saying the words but that didn't help. What letters should I use?

  2. bekajoi

    bekajoi New Member

    Mar 7, 2011
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    Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
    F instead of th
    Th instead of s

    "something" becomes "thomefing"

    And sometimes you can remove the n in "ing"... making "thomefing" into "thomefig".

    Depends on the depth of the cold for the removal of the n. That seems to happen most when it's a really bad one.

    I'd still suggest trying to pinch the nose and say it aloud, if you want to write it out like this, and try to go with how it sounds phonetically. Either that, or if it's just not working, describe the sound of the voice to explain the cold and leave the words themselves alone.
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    In general, you are best off NOT writing accents and the like phonetically.

    But if you must, at least don't overdo it.

    "I hab a code in the head, add my doze is all stuffy." is more than sufficient. Don't try to make every word sound congested, so don't change all the "the"s to "da"s. Just do enough of the words to make your point.
  4. Elgaisma

    Elgaisma Contributor Contributor

    Jun 12, 2010
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    Try doing it with dialogue beats and the situations instead, for example:

    'Achoo!' Socrates fishes around in his pocket for a handkerchief and blows his nose.

    Nate plugs his ears, 'Wonderful you are blooming awful when you have a cold.' He heads over to switch the kettle on, 'Take a seat love.'

    Socrates sits down on the sofa with his eyes streaming. He blows his nose again, 'I'm really sorry love, can you get me a hot water bottle.' He shivers, 'It's freezing.' He sneezes again, 'Oh no I really can't do this snot lark.' He puts his handkerchief over his mouth and legs it to the bathroom.

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