Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Language Differences in Stories

August 24, 2021
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My current read is My Ghosts by Mary Swan, the book I found in a small bookstore while traveling. I am enjoying the author’s style and get a real sense of the main protagonist and her plight. It is of particular interest to me as I too emigrated. Getting to know the customs, language and manner of another country is a remarkable journey for anyone. The novel character’s are from Scotland and travel to Toronto, Canada, while I was from England and came to Edmonton, Canada. You might think that there could be no language differences, but you would be wrong. For example, in England the front of a car is a bonnet but in Canada a hood, or the rear is a boot but here a trunk. I know a sidewalk as a pavement and a wrench as a spanner. This last item puzzled my Canadian work colleagues, when I first asked for one, but when I described it, I was informed the item was indeed a wrench not a spanner.

Languages are a combination of settlers and native inhabitants own language, which is assimilated into common use over generations. Accents are closely related to specific areas, where the majority of inhabitants are from a common location that influences dialect development. This can be from invasions, an influx of settlers or workers to the area and in modern times the use of slang has become incorporated. Another influence is class, where an upper class person will speak differently from a lower class person. It is the influence of their peers that affects their accent.

While writing a story, a writer has to be conscious of the dialect of an area they are writing about or indeed the origins of the character. I find no problem in writing English dialects and accents as I have known them for most of my life. However, as I write my Canadian detective series, I am conscious of word usage and slang. I have to check with my author friends as to the names of certain things. Once example is I use dado rail in a paragraph, but no-one knew what it was until I described it. Then it was clear the word I needed to use was chair rail.

Some author’s have a ‘key’ at the back of their fiction books, most commonly found in fantasy stories. However, I am sure that most readers can understand the ‘new’ words due their context within a sentence or paragraph and the repeated use. Obviously, we are used to a glossary in a non-fiction book, whil ewe study a subject.

Have you read a book with noticeable language differences to your own?

Did you find it easy to read or puzzling?

Was there a glossary at the back of the book? Did it hinder your reading or help?

Ask A Question Thursday

July 18, 2019
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Today’s question:

How did you find your particular writing style? A creative writing class, a teacher, a format or something else?

Do you write differently for different genres?

We all find a process that allows us to convey our story in the best way is good – right? There are several styles that utilize words/language, sentence structure, and paragraph structure, to convey our meaning effectively in respect of the genre we write.

writing-styles

 

Last week’s question: How important is research to you when writing a book? What have you researched for you current manuscript?

For me, research is half the fun of writing. Even with the convenience of today’s Internet, I still enjoy thumbing through “real” reference books: highlighting, underlining, dog-earing pages, sticky noting, etc. My most recent research project has been on cremation.

Mandy Eve-Barnett

I have researched medieval physician’s healing techniques, the circumstances of how a body can dry out and become a husk, natural substances that prevent pregnancy or induce sterility.

Power of Words and their Use…

March 20, 2013
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Sluice – definition: 1) an artificial passage for water with a gate for controlling its flow; 2) a channel that carries off surplus water; 3) a long sloping trough (as for floating logs to a sawmill)

English: Sluice

English: Sluice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What an amazing difference between these two water courses. One leaves us with thoughts of stale smelly water while the other is a thing of ingenuity and beauty. Both are methods of manipulating the flow of water to the human desire but the first is more of a practical bare bones nature compared to the ethestically pleasing structure in Italy.

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-02/wind-turbines-embedded-italian-viaduct-would-preserve-architecture-and-generate-power

Picture 1_39

This is a perfect example of how we can manipulate our words to give our readers a particular vision or image. As I looked at the first sluice I thought – dirty, smelly, slime, old, crumbling, ugly, decrepit. Whilst the second – bright, shiny, ingenious, metal, esthetically pleasing.

See this re-blogged post about the power of words.

A Lesser Used Word..? & Sunday Snippets…

March 17, 2013
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Forlorn – definition: 1) feeling sad and lonely especially because of being left alone: 2) hopeless

Forlorn_Puppy_by_ajsharmaForlorn Puppy by ~ajsharma

As I was searching for a suitable picture for this post,  I came across many images of puppies, abandoned buildings, sad looking children, graveyards and distress in many forms. The word is a very powerful image maker but it seems to be out of fashion when it comes to its use now-a-days.  We have all read the classics where a woman is described as forlorn when her love is not requited or lost. The imagery of her gradually failing and becoming waif like is very strong.

Such an emotive word should not, I feel, be lost to the language of story telling. Of course we can use other words, such as desolate, bereft, miserable, wretched and even forsaken, which is in decline as well, I believe but forlorn is the ‘king’.  A puppies pleading eyes can only be forlorn.

I found a beautiful poem by Bernd at http://timelessferry.wordpress.com/

Forlorn, for the first time ever – lonely.

Forlorn, gone is the love of my life, happiness is destroyed.

Forlorn,  dominated by grief, tears flow and flow, will never stop.

Forlorn, deep pain rips everything deep inside me, it is excruciating.

Time passes, really too slowly.

Time shall heal wounds, heal pain.

Time may you tell me, is it almost time?

Time let me know, when I’m free again.

The hope, I carry with me.

The hope, each day a new attempt to live, to survive.

The hope, find peace with the pain.

The hope,  to break free from the shackles, let go the old things, finally find new happiness.

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Also as it is Sunday Snippets – I have included a short piece from the 18th century period of my novel, The Twesome Loop. Gabriella has found her husband’s brother to be truly understanding and her affections are clear. When her husband William decides his brother has over stayed his welcome :

Things Lost

“It is time you took your leave, my brother, you have dallied here far too long. I will purchase the villa in Agagni and want you to organise it on my behalf.”

“You may want to inspect the building and grounds before the purchase, William. May I suggest you travel to Italy to see the details are correct?”

“I am confident you will ensure all the details are correctly documented, Arthur. I have organised a carriage to take you to Dover in the morning.”

Gabriella’s dismay must have shown on her face.

“Are you sorry to see my brother leave, my sweet?”

“I am – he has been good company these past few weeks. The tales of his travels have been most entertaining.”

“Well, you shall be travelling with me in a few months time to my new property in Italy.”

“I look forward to seeing Italy; from what Arthur has told me, it is very beautiful.”

The evening seemed to draw out for hours before William finally left for his room.

“Please do not leave me here with him, Arthur. He will surely subject me to his lusts once you are gone.”

Fellow Snippet Bloggers:

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com/

http://www.mandyevebarnett.com

http://womanbitesdog.wordpress.com/

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com

http://writerscrash.blogspot.com/2013/01/critique-blog-hop.html?showComment=1359314347792#c7304398839545720473

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