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Am now thinking thinky thoughts. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Am now thinking thinky thoughts.
Our Schemingreader has started a Very Interesting Discussion w/r/t Britpicking.
And then I found occasion to ring up two friends in America.
And found that, although both are exceeding fluent in British English, I was half-consciously translating as I went, before I spoke, and quite unnecessarily, as I well know. (To an extent, one does this in any case: Americans of parts and accomplishment do understand chemist for what they call pharmacy; there are Britons who require chemist because they respond with blank inapprehension to the use of apothecary.* Class and generation issues.) One does I think, for the sake of immediate comprehension, use steward/ess for air host/ess and the like in transatlantic conversation. (Mind you, just you try having a business partner who’s a Virginian-educated Texan. That’ll get you translating as you go.)
And it occurred to me, after, quite suddenly, that as we do all of us reserve our code-switching for speech, then perhaps it shd be an aid to Britpicking for the overseas author and the Britpicker to read the passages aloud in editing them?
What say you?

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4 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: September 18th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Spotted Dick

Back in the spacious, gracious Sixties, New York balletomanes "talked funny" for weeks after the Royal Ballet season, so I sort of understand British English. As a New Yorker, in fact, I had more trouble understanding Middle American during my Army days. Before that, I worked for an American puppeteer who did regional British accents for Alice in Wonderland characters. And every English novel you read talks about "broad Yorkshire" (huh??)

However, reading regional accents can be almost as tedious as writing them. Leaving aside spelling and punctuation (where I think some leeway should be allowed, as long as you're correct by some standard), a writer should attempt to get at least ambiance right, or just write less.

Edited at 2011-09-18 09:51 pm (UTC)
tekalynn From: tekalynn Date: September 18th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think of "air hostess" as less British than archaic. It sounds very 1960s.

I thought "flight attendant" was used internationally?
tiferet From: tiferet Date: September 19th, 2011 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I code-switch in writing rather a lot actually. For years I wrote Lightning War more than anything else (to the point where one of my co-workers is sure that I can't be American) but my writing style was also somewhat affected by years spent on various BBS sites before it was common for Americans to be in Japanese fandoms. On the other hand if I am furious enough it's possible to tell not just that I'm American but also to get it down to the regional level. Assuming I'm not reduced to sputtering profanity.
From: sirona_gs Date: September 19th, 2011 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)
For a while now, I have somehow found myself with a primary fandom that is American. And I'm having to edit myself heavily as I write, in the reverse -- removing Britishisms and using Americanisms (which, yes, I admit, makes my soul bleed a little). In that scenario I certainly find it extremely useful to read stuff out loud.
4 comments or Leave a comment