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Re: homophones and american vs. english

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  • Volari
    Hi! Two messages to reply to; first, Redthunder s ... I apologize if this is beating a dead horse, but these two gave me troubles so I thought I d throw out
    Message 1 of 1 , May 15, 2006
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      Hi!

      Two messages to reply to; first, Redthunder's


      > Message 2
      > From: "redthunder213" redthunder213@...
      > Date: Sun May 14, 2006 11:06am(PDT)
      > Subject: Homophones
      >
      > -"affect" and "effect" -- This one's tougher, but
      > generally if it's
      > a result, then it is an "effect" and if it's
      > something that is
      > likely to cause a result, then it is "affect".

      I apologize if this is beating a dead horse, but these
      two gave me troubles so I thought I'd throw out some
      more advice. I looked them up at www.webster.com, and
      both can be used as nouns--they have different flavors
      of meaning though. Generally when I use them, I use
      'affect' as a verb (one of its other definitions) and
      'effect' as a noun.

      The second message I'd like to reply to is from Alyse.
      (I copied it below--I get this list digest form so
      it's difficult to respond to them individually.)

      One of the things she mentioned is that she tends to
      use 'rather' a lot in her writing, which is something
      she's been told isn't done so much in America or
      Canada. Actually, Southern American has a lot of
      similarities with English, and still includes a lot of
      idioms and turns of phrase that have fallen out of use
      in the other parts of America. (For example, in North
      Carolina, both the mountain and coastal regions have
      towns where isolated populations have retained a lot
      of older speech patterns. In fact, I think there's a
      town on the coast that's been studied by linguists
      because they still speak like they're straight from
      the 18th century.)

      ::gets off soapbox:: Getting back to Atlantis-related
      things: I've noticed Sheppard seems to have the
      hardest to place accent. I've often seen him described
      as having either a Southern drawl or a Texan accent. I
      haven't heard that many Texans, but I know he's not
      Southern. Though he does speak at a slower pace,
      especially when compared to McKay, his sounds don't
      have the right shape to be from 'round here. Checking
      scifi.com's bio of the actor, it says that he was
      raised in Nevada--I've heard that a lot of studios
      hire people with a Midwestern accent for their very
      lack of an accent.

      Ok, so still a little on my soapbox, but linguistics
      interest me. Basically, I think the advice Alyse gave
      was the best: that your writing should reflect the
      character's thoughts and speech when writing from
      their POVs. As far as simple narrative goes, write
      with what's comfortable with you.

      And Sheppard's not Southern.

      -volari


      From: "Alyse" alyseci5@...
      Date: Mon May 15, 2006 0:02am(PDT)
      Subject: 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 :)

      --
      love and Thorntons' chocolates

      Al

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