Re: RARA-AVIS: Slang

From: C W (
Date: 20 Jun 2003

Miker wrote:

<<Twain's HUCKLEBERRY FINN, and thinking surely the whole narrative isn't slang, so I checked it out. It is.>>

Then Mario wrote:

"That's not slang, son. It's Southern. None of the characters is trying to cut clever, either. They speak authentically. Twain knew how bad the phonetic humorists sounded (they were his competitors, after all), so he was very careful about using folksy renderings of speech. I think Huck works much better in Southern, but it would remain a great book in Yank."

What is Southern if not slang? What is slang if not a dialectic veering away from standard english, such as Southern? Are you saying Southern is an exception to the "abuse of slang" rule? And if I put across a speech (in a character) in regional slang is the character necessarily cutting clever? Can he not be authentic?

Charlie Williams

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