Re: RARA-AVIS: Scottish UK noir

Date: 17 Jun 2002

Joy said
"Copyeditors discuss this sometimes. The consensus usually is the less of it,
 the better because (1) it's hard on the reader and (2) it tends to have a
 demeaning effect on the speaker. Writers mostly don't phonetically spell out
 what Lord High Muckety-Muck says; the marginalized, the poor, the
 uneducated, the foreign, and various other outsiders get the treatment. It's
 an easy way for the author to signal disdain for the speaker.
     In your example, Colin, how is "vews" pronounced? When I sound it out,
 it sounds just like my "views." Of course, I have a funny accent, too."

My views is probably "veyues". In this story the two chumps spoke in dialect - and the author was disdainful of them. I'm just trying to think of any others who do the same, and none really spring to mind, I do remember noticing that both Hammett and Chandler would signal street hoodlums and the like by using "Could of", while the hero keeps using the correct "Could have".

Brookmyre had every word they spoke in style, and I found some of it incomprehensible, I think maybe that selecting fewer words to signal the strength of accent would carry more weight and be easier on the reader.

Maybe Al, who I am presuming has a better knowledge of Scottish accents, can illuminate why these particular people were accented up - working class Edinburgh I think - maybe it means more if you are familiar with the linguistic terrain.

Cheers. I would be interested, for next month, if US readers have had much difficulty with British English, in UK HB - tough and colloquial, but whose colloquialisms?

(Or cheerrrrrrrers, as I would of said.) Colin

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Jun 2002 EDT