Wednesday, July 09, 2003

eye dialect

I just finished reading something that's an English-major pet peeve of mine. Here's an example. Read this aloud:
"Yew run ahlong now, dew whut I say."
Then say:
"You run along now, do what I say."

Notice that, for all the bad dialectal spelling in the first example, they're pronounced the same. Linguists call the first sentence eye dialect, and it's a trademark of very bad writers. As a rule, you shouldn't use dialectal spelling anyway. But if you're going to do it, at least do it so it gives dialectal pronunciation:
"Ah'm gon' run 'long now, don' sass me none."

And don't use that many apostrophes, either.

Speaking of bad writing, I just missed my chance to enter this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest for the worst possible opening sentence. I was working on some real whoppers....

eye dialect

I just finished reading something that's an English-major pet peeve of mine. Here's an example. Read this aloud:
"Yew run ahlong now, dew whut I say."
Then say:
"You run along now, do what I say."

Notice that, for all the bad dialectal spelling in the first example, they're pronounced the same. Linguists call the first sentence eye dialect, and it's a trademark of very bad writers. As a rule, you shouldn't use dialectal spelling anyway. But if you're going to do it, at least do it so it gives dialectal pronunciation:
"Ah'm gon' run 'long now, don' sass me none."

And don't use that many apostrophes, either.

Speaking of bad writing, I just missed my chance to enter this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest for the worst possible opening sentence. I was working on some real whoppers....