1. DAcrazy79

    DAcrazy79 New Member

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    Would it be ok to use grammatical errors in typed dialogue?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by DAcrazy79, Jun 27, 2017.

    Ok so my MC and another character in my story are typing back and forth to each other, but the other character uses bad grammar. Would it be unprofessional to write it that way?

    Example

    "well hell i'm right down the road you should come hang out i'll buy you a beer" He typed.

    "Well I'll have to walk how, long are you gonna be there?" I replied.

    "until my mom comes to get me shes my desinated driver" He types back again.
     
  2. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'd say definitely, it establishes a lot abou the character. You have to be careful to make sure it's readable, some l33t can get pretty dense, and you don't want to turn your readers off completely, but otherwise, go for it.
     
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  3. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, I agree with Mr. Aschendale.

    If you're writing what the characters are typing to each other, then by all means, enhance the ambiance. Just be careful of laying it on too thick. As a reader, I'm not much interested in deciphering.

    Don't be afraid to summarize the conversation in narrative via indirect discourse. This sort of formatting could get old if the conversation isn't interesting.
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I think if you do this it'll be really important that there are NO errors in the rest of the text, in order to show that the dialogue "errors" are deliberate, not sloppy. So, for example, you'd need to put a comma at the end of the typed dialogue and use a lower case letter for the start of "he typed".
     
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  5. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I'd say it's fine, but I wouldn't use quotes personally, as they're too associated with speaking. I've used italics and square brackets for typed communication before, but not quotes.
     
  6. DAcrazy79

    DAcrazy79 New Member

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    Thanks everyone this was all very helpful.
     
  7. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    It would drive me batty to read that kind of thing for longer than about 5/6 lines. And it's also going to make me think the characters are idiots.
     
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  8. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Agreed. While I think it's a very good idea to write it the way that your characters would write it to add depth to your character, I would make sure to polish it down to only the necessities, as such language gets annoying quickly.

    I would also make sure it's consistent with the reason they are typing that way. typingthe way someno ewould when theyre durnk is quite different from someone txting cause short words r easier on a phone.
     
  9. Tophert79

    Tophert79 Banned

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    The vast majority of the human race are idiots, so typing this way would be honest and consistent with the real world.

    So yes, this is perfectly acceptable. Let's say your character is working class and not going to raise the IQ roof, you can't have him either talking like an literary scholar or typing like one, as it wouldn't be believable.
     
  10. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Of course, being consistent with the real world doesn't mean it wouldn't be completely annoying...
     
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  11. ajaye

    ajaye Senior Member

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    I've heard a rumour that the IQ challenged can be found in the middle class and, gasp, upper as well.
     
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  12. KaTrian

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Supporter Contributor

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    I think it's fine, and I like it 'cause it's realistic.

    By the way, if you want to read a novel that takes illiteracy to a whole new level, read Sapphire's Push (and no, the main character Precious is not an idiot or intellectually disabled). While I can understand some readers would be put off by the character's creative spelling, I found it compelling and wonderfully realistic.
     
  13. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    There's realistic and there's realistic.

    I think a book has a duty to be properly punctuated, regardless of context. People do type in terrible English but that really doesn't say anything about them as a person; it doesn't say much about anything in all honesty. And given that it'll read like nails down a blackboard to some people then I think you'd be well advised to steer well clear. The test needs to be on that level; if writing them like that doesn't communicate any extra information then it really shouldn't be there. There isn't even really a kind of person who writes like that; loads of people bloody do it, including my seventy year old mother and I cringe when she does it too.

    And while it's not really important to this topic; I hate writing typed things in speech marks. I hate very few things. But that I directly hate. I think you should write it as if it were a text message or an IM window. So:

    Dave said:
    Hi there!

    Jane said:
    Well hello!

    That means you don't even have to communicate that they are writing to each other every time you want to do it, it's clear by context and it means that the reader will never think 'Wait are they saying that?'. Speech marks have a specific use and it is not things that are not speech.

    If you insist on writing in awful text speak, then at least make it incredibly, demonstrably clear that it is written by the characters and not prose that comes from you.
     
  14. Tophert79

    Tophert79 Banned

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    Where in my post did I state otherwise? Did I state that the lower class are all dim and the upper all geniuses?

    Did you actually read my post?

    I wrote: "Let's say your character is working class AND not going to raise the IQ roof". Fine, OK, "Let's say that your character is royalty and not going to raise the IQ roof".

    Is that better?
     
  15. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    Calm down.
     
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  16. Tophert79

    Tophert79 Banned

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    I'm very calm, all I did was increase the font size for a word. :p
     
  17. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I would find this both realistic and intensely annoying.

    I also wouldn't punctuate it like dialogue. If I did do it, I'd probably make it look like:

    Joe: well hell i'm right down the road you should come hang out i'll buy you a beer
    Fred: Well I'll have to walk how, long are you gonna be there?
    Joe: until my mom comes to get me shes my desinated driver


    But even so, unless there's a really urgent reason why you need to do this, I'd recommend against it.

    Another issue is that technology changes. I tried typing these into my phone and it corrected i'll to I'll, desinated to designated, shes to she's, and capitalized the first word in the sentences. In one forum where I hang out it's clear that a lot of posts are "typed" with text to speech (though they do use capital letters and punctuation!) because the corrected errors are pretty clearly pronunciation based instead of spelling based.

    So the above will date you.
     
  18. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    That's a really great point. In one of my manuscripts, a misspelling in a text message is a major plot point. I typed it into my phone to see if autocorrect would deal with it. Thankfully, it didn't, because the misspelling was also a word (your/you're) but if it had, I would've needed to change it or have a gaping plot hole.
     
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