RARA-AVIS: slang

From: MatCoward@aol.com
Date: 21 Jun 2003

<< I do agree with you that slang can sound authentic when it is properly applied. It is a valid literary device. I was talking about *abuse of slang*, when the device becomes too visible and intrudes. In Chandler, piled-up slang is in conflict with the narrative voice, which is obviously that of a refined person. If you catch the author "slumming" though his narrative voice, his credibility diminishes. >>

 Last week I read "Red Harvest" - for the first time, believe it or not - and although I enjoyed and admired it enormously, there were times when the
"piled-up slang" (good expression, that) became just too much and stopped me in my tracks, like roller skating along a smooth pavement and then coming to a loose gravel drive. When every other word was a (frankly) phoney-sounding slang term, I didn't know whether to laugh or snarl; especially since, all these years after the writing, the meanings and contexts are no longer always obvious - shit, sometimes the *object* the term applied to no longer exists!
- Mat C <A HREF=" http://hometown.aol.co.uk/matcoward/myhomepage/newsletter.html"> http://hometown.aol.co.uk/matcoward/myhomepage/newsletter.html

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