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29 January 2016 @ 09:41 am
Random Writing Question  
When I write, I try to use the grammar and spelling that the person who's narrating, or whose POV we're occupying would use. So, American characters use American terms and spelling, and UK/Commonwealth citizens use British terms and spelling, regardless of whether the fandom is American or British-based. For characters like Edwin Jarvis and Peggy Carter, who are Brits surrounded by Americans in an American setting, I sometimes run into problems with what the dialogue of the Americans around them should be spelled like. For example, when an American is talking about his mother to a British person, does my British narrator record him as having said 'Mum' or 'Mom'? Because there is a distinct sound difference there, and it's hard for me to imagine any American saying 'Mum'. Airplane or aeroplane is another one.

It's probably something I'm overthinking, but I do feel like reading dialogue where Tony Stark says 'Mum' takes a person out of the moment a bit.

Any thoughts?
 
 
 
donutsweeperdonutsweeper on January 29th, 2016 04:04 pm (UTC)
If Peggy (or Jarvis) were interacting with little Tony and Tony spoke to them they'd hear "I want my mom" but if they were interacting with him and thinking to themselves that Tony wanted his mother they'd think Tony's acting like he wants his mum. Because he said 'mom' not 'mum'and mum and mom actually sound like different words and it's just like when someone mutters a word in another language under their breath, even if "si" means yes or "nyet" means no you still hear it as Si or nyet, your brain just interprets it to be what makes sense to you.

It would completely throw me out of a story if little Tony said "mum" (or Peggy "mom" for that matter) no matter who the narrator was since it's ooc for the speaker.

To me colour/color, favorite/favourite would be different stories since the only difference is spelling, not how they sound.
aelfgyfu_mead: Peggy Carteraelfgyfu_mead on January 29th, 2016 06:00 pm (UTC)
Donutsweeper just said very much what I was going to say about what one hears and what one says.

Yes, it throws me out of the story momentarily if a character uses the wrong dialect.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 29th, 2016 07:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, it throws me out of the story momentarily if a character uses the wrong dialect.

Okay, that's good to know. I wasn't sure if I was being too anal about it. The quirks of the English language and its dialects are something I enjoy exploring, but it does get to be a bit of a rabbit hole on occasion.

Thanks for your help!
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on January 29th, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC)
It would completely throw me out of a story if little Tony said "mum" (or Peggy "mom" for that matter) no matter who the narrator was since it's ooc for the speaker.

To me colour/color, favorite/favourite would be different stories since the only difference is spelling, not how they sound.


Those two thoughts are exactly what I was thinking, but you've put it all in much more concise and coherent explanation, thank you! I wasn't sure if I was being too weird about it, but it's good to know I was on the right track. :-D
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on February 14th, 2016 09:45 pm (UTC)

A visit from the Valentine's fairy!