American Words in England fictions... (21)

1 Name: Elkkun : 2011-06-20 12:52 ID:A2AkLdAH

...annoy the hell out of me.
In this really good crossover fiction of Harry Potter and APH, for some reason they put "No one in the hall seemed to look remotely happy at being addressed as if they were in kindergarten." ... Ok, fair enough, narrator view, but if you're writing it set in ENGLAND you should at least put "Primary School". Kindergarten isn't a f-cking word over here in England. Srsly.

I went on a rage fest when I was reading another APH fic, and they made England think, Machester United...SOCCER...team.

...Soccer? wtf is soccer? You say Soccer over here, and the kids will look at you and tell you to sod off back to America. It's /football/.

It's like making harry say "Candy", I'd rage forever if somebody made Harry say that.

NNNGGGHHH... -bites on her milk rolls-...I'm calm...

..But this grate on anybody else's nerves? Or is it just me?

2 Name: Gin : 2011-06-21 00:57 ID:Tiz43BlF

Actually, the school I went to had a Pre-KG.
...yeah.

R.e. the football/soccer thing: Confusion can happen all over the place, y'know. We had an Australian exchange student on our floor in halls; one day she was going to the "football" match. She was actually going to watch -rugby-.

Admittedly, this sort of thing does get on my nerves from time to time - fortunately I think I just manage to escape the worst-affected fandoms. (Fictional worlds are useful for that.)

3 Name: Anonymous : 2011-06-21 08:15 ID:fxOYGh7P

At least in writing, it's a bit annoying >>1 points that out well. Though frankly any stories that like should only need a simple review correcting them and there you go, as right as rain!!

I wouldn't lose sleep over it, dears. (= They have their mannerisms, we have ours. (case in point: to bum a fag)

4 Name: Elkkun : 2011-06-21 09:11 ID:A2AkLdAH

>>3 some don't read or respond to their reviews, thus making it hard to correct them.

lol.... to bum a fag over here that's to have a cig... Over there...Well, yaoi fangirls would be there in seconds. XDD

5 Name: Anonymous : 2011-06-21 09:53 ID:fxOYGh7P

>>4 Ah-! No, you're right. =p That's when I get pissed about it, especially when they have the nerve to complain about it in the start of the next chapter!! (Sassy American chick, you are not being a sassy American!! You're just being annoying!)

6 Name: Elkkun : 2011-06-21 11:12 ID:A2AkLdAH

>>5 ngggh, it'd be even worse if it were DA... If you get complained about, people seem to go white-knight defensive and attack you DX and most of the time they never listen to your side of reasoning... -noms more on potato waffle- .. ... I've made a rule that you can't have British English and Amiercan English in one fic. For example, you can't have "colour" on one line, and then say "Soccer team" ¬¬ pour example: "Red coloured shirts of the soccer team".

-cocks shotgun- XD

7 Name: Anonymous : 2011-06-22 14:27 ID:ngZ1f1ZB

>>6 D: What on earth? Jumping on the flaming bandwagon for the hell of it!? Actually I remember browsing pictures there and stumbling across a pretty good one that wasn't owned by the poster, but as she explained, by someone else on the site (she said she didn't know who it was only she couldn't find them to tell them) and at first the comments were all positve and amazing and then one person scolded her for posting an image she didn't own and reported her, next a load of comments below said the same thing. (I know she shouldn't have done it, but still, way to get your point across. -.-) -suddenly has craving for potato waffle- So what you're saying is: it's either all British English or all American English but never both. More than reasonable, methinks. -runs off and ends up with carrots- Out of interest, has anyone seen the facebook group about it? A tad hard core... My friends 'liked' it but I can't help but think it's rather aggressive :s

8 Name: MaryMagdalen : 2011-06-25 05:52 ID:M54dfCMs

Tbh, it doesn't bother me. I mean, if the words were totally alien, OK, but if you know what the words mean, even if they're ones you personally wouldn't use, why get so het up about it? And if it's a word you don't know - that's what dictionaries are for!

OK, Harry Potter saying "candy" might not sit quite right, but is that alone enough to write off a fiction or an author as bad, or stupid, or whatever?

I'm English, and I write stuff set in America, so I try to use the right vocabulary where possible, but the fact is, that vocabulary is often different from one state to another, just as it is from one county to another here. For example, my friend once commented to someone who just got a new job, "You'll get a good screw there". In the town she comes from, it means a good wage, but in other places... well, you can look that one up in the dictionary if you're not familiar with it!!

I know you just gave a couple of words as examples, but we do have kindergartens (originally a German word, so don't blame America for that one!) in England, and Soccer is in fact an English word (short for Association Football) - it's just not widely used anymore, but it is used and we all know what it is.

So that's just my way of saying yeah, maybe it grates a little, but imo it's not a big deal, and certainly not worth going all read-rage over!

9 Name: Elkkun : 2011-06-26 06:06 ID:A2AkLdAH

>>8 It's just nobody in this part of England (or any of England as far as I'm aware) would say "soccer", or "candy" and if they do, they're normally corrected to say "footy" and "sweets".
Over in Australia they call sweets "lollies" according to mum.

It just grates on me, whenever somebody uses a word that's not usually familiar with British English.

In fact, I blame the Americans. They're the ones who bastardised the English language 8D

/lolnooffenseoranythingtoanybodyfromAmericalike.

Also, U.S.A is ewual to Usa, which in japanese in Bunny >:3 They now have to change their Animal symbol to a bunny rabbit. xD

10 Name: MaryMagdalen : 2011-06-26 07:47 ID:M54dfCMs

>>9 "In fact, I blame the Americans. They're the ones who bastardised the English language"

Or did they? I often wonder who changed what after the Mayflower sailed!! :oD

And I'm sure your final sentence makes sense, but I have absolutely no idea what it means!! lol - always divided by a common language!! :o)

11 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2011-07-29 20:57 ID:TV174q5C

I think someone is being OCD on a very small issue. Truth of the matter, slang is one of the hardest things to get down in writing. Does it really matter when the meaning is the same thing?

I mean, this does not compare to the misuse of Japanese sufixes I've found and had to lecture writers on. In that case, the sufixes have particular uses do to particular meanings and they don't mean some of the things that the writers think that they do.

12 Name: AcidPrince : 2011-07-30 06:52 ID:FwBQzHAU

You know, the Americans had a vote on what language they wanted to speak in 1776. It was either German or English- obviously English won out. That's why Americans use so many German words, cuz of all the Germans that settled there. Just throwing a random fact in there ;D

13 Name: AcidPrince : 2011-07-30 06:55 ID:FwBQzHAU

*Correction; I think the year of the debate was different. Oh well :D

14 Name: Anonymous : 2011-07-31 00:55 ID:TV174q5C

>>12 - Sorry, but that is not a true historical fact. It is an old wives tale, a myth.

http://csumc.wisc.edu/AmericanLanguages/writings/2_myths_official_language.html

15 Name: moonphase : 2011-07-31 11:03 ID:MD2QNFUd

You should all watch and be enlightened.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88FuCiac8IE

16 Name: Karama9 : 2011-07-31 11:41 ID:T4RPaNUU

I have to comment on not using British spelling and soccer in the same story... I'm Canadian. We use British spelling and call the sport Beckham plays soccer.

So... if I set a story somewhere where that sport is most commonly referred to as soccer, such as in North America, and mention the sport in the story (for whatever reason), it will result in a story with British spelling and the word soccer in it, and it won't be because I'm being inconsistent.

I don't know of any other examples, but my take on this whole vocabulary vs spelling thing is that the spelling will depend on who writes the story (they'll likely use whatever they are most comfortable with), while the vocabulary used in dialogue should vary based on where the character is from, and the vocabulary used in narration depends on the point of view of the narrator. If someone wrote a Harry Potter story in the style of the books, with most of the narration in Harry's point of view (though in the third person), and set that story in America, the vocab would still be British when the narration is following Harry's thoughts.

And so on and so forth. There's no big sweeping rule you can follow. My take is, if you're writing a story set in England but where the narrator is omniscient and impersonal, and you're American, there's no good reason for the narration outside of dialogues not to feature American vocabulary... unless you, the writer, personally don't want the differences in vocabulary to make the dialogue jarring. It's a choice, not a rule.

Just my opinion.

17 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2011-08-04 02:16 ID:TV174q5C

>>16 - I personally think that getting the dialog right is hard enough when you're trying to write the Harry Potter fanfics. I mean, I try to use the British slang I know when I write dialog, but I also know there is likely quite a few things I am missing because the differences aren't just a small few. I'm constantly learning. No one's commented on the dialog in any of my HP stories yet, but I am wondering if that is because of the fact that I mostly have American's reading my stories, or other people simply don't care. Or, it isn't concidered proper ettiquite to point these out?

18 Name: Karama9 : 2011-08-05 03:17 ID:ODXWwHDO

I was about to suggest re-reading some of the dialogs in the books to find your 'British' voice, but it probably doesn't come very naturally if it's your only exposure and then I also remembered... the britishism are 'translated' in the American versions, aren't they? Molly Weasley knits sweaters for Harry and her kids, as far as you guys are concerned, doesn't she? As opposed to jumpers? And they throw stuff in the trash rather than bin it?

The fact the official books have Americanized narration and dialog kind of legitimize doing it to the same level in fanfics, I believe.

It's definitely not something I'd pick on, but at the same time, I do find British characters 'reading' British makes them that much more convincing.

19 Name: Elkkun : 2011-08-12 11:40 ID:A2AkLdAH

>>18 I wish you could say the same thing on Twilight. Apparently "Handsomer" wasn't edited out :U.

If it's a third person view, fair enough put 'soccer' instead, but if it's in first person and from England, at least try to put football. It makes it more believable, and I don't have to re-read the sentence and replace the word...

20 Name: Yemi Hikari : 2011-08-19 23:35 ID:TV174q5C

>>19 - It also won't help if you have a speech impediment that makes it so you stumble over words.

I actually was confused as to why a writer used jumper and commented it, later appologizing for it. Funny thing was, it was an American writer who was writing the fanfic, or so I believe. That said, I am more used to 'sweaters' being called 'pullovers' in the British stuff I've seen and read, not jumpers.

>>19 - Good point on first person there.

21 Name: Anonymous : 2012-03-27 14:58 ID:zYcxC9T0

>>9 English was a bastard language before the Americans got to it. Let's be honest-- it's the bastard child of German and Latin that isn't sure which parent to take after. XD

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