English vs American betaing - was homophones
- On 5/15/06, Laryn <aleirian@...> wrote:Here's the question - verbatim:I see the "then/than" and "know/now" thing a lot when dealing with British authors. I'm a Yank, so I've assumed this was a common spelling difference, much list potato/potatoe - can anyone verify that?
No, it's not. They're mistakes, and very common ones. Then/than and know/no are used in English exactly the way that they are in American English.
The only differences that you might come across in an English author's work that aren't used as often by American authors are differences such as while/whilst. We use the latter far more frequently than those across the pond, to mean 'during' or 'at the same time'. So whilst John was juggling, Rodney ate his way through his MRE. It took a while. That's fine in narrative, but it generally isn't something that an American or Canadian would say, so we English authors need to be careful about using the idioms and language that the characters would use when writing their dialogue or even writing a piece that has a fairly tight point of view.
So the other things to look out for when betaing for English authors are things that would be out of character. I've been thrown out of a story by John swearing and saying 'bloody' and my own beta has pointed out that I have a tendency to use 'rather' in my narrative, when it's a story told from John's point of view, and 'rather' isn't a word John, as an American, would think or say.
By the way, I'm not suggesting that you correct the spelling of an English author to the American version, just the idioms and language that is used during the story to better capture the characters. Trying to tell me that I should suddenly start writing in another language tends to annoy me (and a number of other English authors I know) :) Telling me it's out of character and I need to better capture the rhythms and nuances of a character's speech patterns is fine.
I cling to my 'u's :)
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