1. Aled James Taylor

    Aled James Taylor Contributor Contributor

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    Letters when Spoken in Dialogue

    Discussion in 'Dialogue Development' started by Aled James Taylor, Nov 4, 2017.

    Aled James Taylor submitted a new resource:

    Letters when Spoken in Dialogue - How to spell the letters of abbreviations in dialogue

    Read more about this resource...
     
  2. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I can't imagine when you'd ever use this. I would just use the letters, as in:

    "Yes, the names Jeremy. That's J-E-R-E-M-Y."

    Would that be wrong?

    If not, the alternative is:

    "Yes, the name's Jeremy. That's jay, ee, ar, ee, em, wy."

    o_O
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    ive got a bit where one of my protags is singing along to Born In in the USA (horribly out of tune) " yeaah I wus bawn in the You Ess Aye"
     
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  4. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Well, according to this chart that would be, "... bawn in the U ess ay."
     
  5. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I was skeptical when I read the OP, but holy crap it's even worse seeing it executed in writing. My editor would run screaming for the hills if she encountered a monstrosity like that.
     
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  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I wouldn't even try.

    He said, "Yes, the name's Jeremy." He spelled it out, with an air of exaggerated patience. "Now do you have my pizza or not?"
     
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  7. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
    "Chronic City" by Jonathan Lethem
    CM17 says to spell them out this way (phonetically) when legibility is iffy. (Sec 7.68)

    Normally you can just use hyphens though.

    A hyphen is used to separate . . . letters when a word is spelled out letter by letter, as in dialogue . . . (Sec 6.77)
    Their example: "My name is Phyllis; that's p-h-y-l-l-i-s."
     
  8. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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  9. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Scuse my ignorance, but what/who is CM17 and '7.68 / 6.77' ?
     
  10. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I'm guessing CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style). It's just one of many style manuals, but it's the one most of my publishers use as the basis of their house styles.
     
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  11. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
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    Sorry. I always think of it as CM, Chicago Manual. I've never seen a publisher who doesn't use it directly or at least base their house style on it with only a couple exceptions.

    Section 7, entry 68.
    Section 6, entry 77.
    That's how they list the entries.

    To me, it's the Fiction Bible. Fire and brimstone . . .

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Spacer

    Spacer Active Member

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    That chart has one mistake: “Juliett” has two T’s, because French speakers would see the single t as silen. Also, Alpha is officially spelled “Alfa” for similar reasons, though I suppose in an English -only chart that would be OK.

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet#International_aviation
     
  13. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    This thread reminds me about something I've always wondered.

    Why is H the only letter that has a common, well-known spelling (aitch)? What I mean is, we all knew how to 'spell' H, yes? But how many of us knew the other spellings? Not me.
     
  14. Spacer

    Spacer Active Member

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    I suppose because it doesn’t begin with the letter it’s for, it has some notoriety. But I don’t find the others any more unknown — mostly obvious improvisations. I don’t know if that chart is from any kind of normative reference. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_alphabet#Letter_names
     
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  15. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I think of that spelling as British; many Americans would say, "Huh?"

    And therefore I theorize that it's about the class issue of pronouncing or not pronouncing it--it's a topic to discuss, and so a spelling was needed.
     
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  16. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    You would spell H 'Huh' ?
    Maybe just me then, but I've certainly never heard the spelling of a letter crop up as often as the one for H does.
    But there are plenty that don't. According to that chart there's: L, M, N, Q, R, S, W, X and Y that don't start with the letter it's for.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  17. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Sorry; I meant that IMO many Americans would see the word 'aitch' and say, "Huh? That's not a word."

    I agree. I'm suggesting that a word was coined for it because people needed to be able to say things like, "Don't drop your aitches, dear," while they rarely had the same need to refer to other letters in everyday life.

    Edited to add: And that's why the word is very seldom used by Americans; dropping that sound doesn't happen to be part of any American accent that I'm aware of.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
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  18. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    @ChickenFreak - Ah! Yes, that sounds plausible. Because of the debate regarding it's pronunciation.

    I must admit, ever since being told it's 'Aitch' not 'H(uh)aitch', I've become somewhat of a H-snob.

    So, wait. We shouldn't drop our aitches, except when we say the letter H, at which point we DO drop the aitch?

    If anyone was ever looking for a good example of irony, it's right there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
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  19. Spacer

    Spacer Active Member

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    ChickenFreak has a good point. The reason is probably a combination of reasons building up to it.
     
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  20. Sir Douglas

    Sir Douglas Member

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    Good. Move the story forward.
     
  21. Spacer

    Spacer Active Member

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    So, a good counterexample for “show, don’t tell.”
     
  22. Poetical Gore

    Poetical Gore Member

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    Lol, just use that when the narrator is having an inner dialogue...not even in a conversation. :p

    What the hell does your Mexican friend have to do with Karaoke?
     

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