Posts Tagged english language
Of the English language, I mean.
In case you haven’t noticed, I have quite a few American writer buddies. In complete jest, discussions of their bastardisation of the English language have taken place between us, with their digs over my uses of ‘whilst’ and ‘arse’ and ‘judder’, and mine in return about how they only lose letters from their words in hope of using less energy when speaking them … but it would appear said American friends are no longer the biggest bastardisers of them all**.
Yep, I now have bigger fish to fry.
And that bigger fish comes in the form of my 15 year old son—and possibly other teenagers, too.
You see, during a conversation with my son one evening, whilst (<<slipped it in ) I was being my usual witty self, my son responded with: “Heh, LOL.”
Yes, rather than bothering to laugh when he found what I had to say amusing, the actual sound: loll came out of his mouth.
My response pretty much went along the lines of: “Oh, my God! You did not just LOL at me!”
For some reason, he then found me even funnier.
Damn, people! What is happening to the youth of today?
To make matters worse, ‘Essex speak’ is spreading like a viral wildfire, and infecting a whole lot of areas other than those for which it began, too.
Of course, I think I shall 100% blame X-Factor contestant Rylan Clark (I love you really, Rylan; you’re a hoot). I’m pretty sure he has started a nationwide trend set—possibly promoted in part by how taken a certain judge was by it all.
Because all over my Christmas break, any time I mentioned that my son had Maltesers when I didn’t, or sweeties when I didn’t, or [insert confectionary of choice] when I didn’t (what? I didn’t have hardly any edible goodies over the break!), his response was: “Are you jell, Mum?” Or, on occasion: “Jelly?”
I can only imagine what on earth is going to bleed into speech next.
Who else has noticed the higher invasion of ‘text talk’ and regional slang in speech?
**Disclaimer: no offense is intended by this blog post. It was written in a light-hearted manner, and I hope it will be taken as such.
As a British author, who writes novels/stories set in England, with English characters, it comes naturally to me to use British words or terms. But what affect can that have on how a book is received when the reach of its readership is on a global scale?
I would like to be able to argue that it has no affect but I’d be lying if I did so—especially when the use of certain words (ones quite valid in the Oxford English Dictionary) are pointed out in reviews or in direct conversation by folk who have read my stuff.
Yep, I’m talking about those dreaded ‘st’ sounds on the ends of words.
Primarily, it’s adding to while to create whilst (though I could argue everyone else dropped it rather than us adding it), or amongst over among/amidst over amid.
It seems (some of) my International readers have a real issue with these words stumbling their flow.
Whilst (ha!) the reviewers who bring this up are in the minority, I can’t ignore a tweet I spotted from an author whose work I’ve had the chance to view and loved, citing her dislike (translate: hate) of the word ‘whilst’ (and if she calls in here, she’ll know I’m talking about her, and will likely throw shoes at me across the pond—eeek!).
Anyhoo, although her tweet was (seemingly) random and was not in reference to my work, it still got me to thinking about my own personal use of it. It also led to a debate with my publisher.
In case you’re wondering, it’s a debate I lost.
You see, whilst (hehehe) all Holloway Pack stories written from Jem’s POV use this word, as do the shorter works written from Sean’s POV (and my short for the Make Believe antho: Escort to Insanity), I argued that not ALL Brits add on the ‘st’ sound and speak this way.
I’ll admit, I initially wrote all of Jem’s dialogue/narration with this/these words included because that is how I speak, so it came naturally to me for my character to speak this way, also. And I’m hardly alone—many other Brits speak this way, despite one reviewer asking if ‘whilst’ was even a word. O_O
But my argument to my editor went along the lines of
‘How about if we switch it up for the male members of the pack, seeing as they sound a little less refined than Jem anyway?’
to which the final response was
And the bits in the between consisted of
‘You need to stay true to who you are as a writer, true to who your characters are, and true to the setting of your stories.’
So, it would seem the word ‘whilst’ will be staying.