Saturday, June 27, 2009

American Regional English---and the Way We Speak English in Texas!

In today's WOW! Women on Writing Blog: The Muffin (to which I e-subscribe free), I found information on a new edition of The Dictionary of American Regional English which will be published next year and contain some 75,000 entries. Having never heard of it before, I went looking to see if it was available at the local library (it isn't) and at the library in my hometown (it is, but only 2 of what appears to be 4 volumes). All four volumes are available for purchase at ABE Books--with prices beginning at $50 and rising! Um. . .I believe I will wait until I can get my hands on a library reference copy or view it online!

But what a fascinating resource! There are vast regional differences in speech patterns/vocabulary throughout America. I've been twitted more than once about saying I'm fixing to. . .or y'all. . .and those are just for starters! Though I usually set my stories in areas with which I'm familiar, both geographically and culturally, I can see that this tome would be a great resource for writers who are setting a story outside their general comfort zone.

For Texas writers or writers about Texas wanting a little flavor, let me recommend two excellent resources by Wallace O. Chariton:
  1. This Dog'll Hunt (Wordware Publishing, Inc., 1990)
  2. This Dog'll Really Hunt (Republic of Texas Press, 1999)
You'll have a hearty chuckle even if you don't use any of the "Texan-isms".


nlindabrit said...

LOL! I treasure my copy of this dog'll hunt, which you kindly bestowed on me. The other dictionary sounds like a fantastic resource.

K9friend said...

Sounds like a great way to keep characters properly authentic!