Re: RARA-AVIS: Scottish UK noir

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 17 Jun 2002

Colin <> wondered: "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?"

Well, Liza Cody's Eva Wylie books, for one. They're confusing to read word for word; you have to sort of throw yourself into them, like Constantine's.
(Anna Lee makes a guest appearance or two in these books, and I'm thinking of getting that Cody series, now that I learned of its existence.)

Colin also said, "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.'"

Writers writing "could of" raises my hackles. At least in my dialect, anyone who isn't making a point of speaking precisely and plummily says "could've," and spelling it "could of" is dissing the speaker.

Joy, who'll have to look up "hackles" and see if she has any

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