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Accuracy when using names and titles in stories

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

I recently got an email picking on me for not being able to spell correctly, and being inconsistent in my writing. However, when the person got into the details of the cause of their complaint I had to laugh. I always believe in being as accurate as possible, so when I mention something that has a name or a title, even one I'm making up, I do it as accurately as I can for where it is. That habit bit me in this case, but I stand by it and will do it again. For example, most of my stories have narrators and character who aren't from the USA so they talk about their family honour (UK spelling) but when they mention the US award I type it as Medal of Honor, because that's its name. In the case by the complainant I use the UK spelling for colour, honour, and centre throughout the story, as is usual for me, except where I mention the name of an old folks' home -Silver Top Retirement Center where I use the US spelling because it's a fictional facility of that name in the USA. Due to this the person said I was inconsistent in spelling the word centre / center.

Thus, this post to raise attention of getting names right when you write, even when they look wrong to what you normally write.

typo edit

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

You did it right.

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Heck you did the naming right as far as I can see. The only time I personally have problems with names and such is when the writer changes them at some point in the story making me double check in order to be sure of which character it is. Sometimes those mistakes are funny and I have seen them happen even in the dead tree books.

Mistakes happen.

Different cultures UK, Australia, Japan etc will of course have different naming and spellings for some things. I expect the spelling variations and cultural differences to show up in a writer's stories, its only natural.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

You did it right - because there is only one spelling for proper nouns, (almost) always spelt in the way it would be in the country where the name was coined.
***
I go to the extent of pronouncing proper nouns in the way it would be in the country where the name was coined. For example, I pronounce 'Derby' differently for the English Derby and Kentucky Derby.
***
I will accept people are entitled to change the way they prefer their names to be pronounced. For example, I would pronounce the surnames differently when talking about Martina Navratilova and Maria Sharapova than I would if talking about their mothers.
***
It's simply a matter of respect for me.
The Oxford University Style Guide (specifically aimed at its students and employees) states regarding names with prefixes:
Follow the preference of the individual, if known; if not, use lower case for the prefix ... [e.g.]
Dick Van Dyke is a star of daytime TV.
Jan van Eyck painted in the 15th century.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

You did it right.


G'day Switch,

I know I got the naming right, however, what got me was the US reader jumping all over me for being inconsistent with my spelling due to me doing the naming right for a US facility when the general narrative was UK spelling. That got me to wanting to let others know you can do things right, and still get into trouble, but also got me thinking authors need to really think about such conventions when writing - thus this thread.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

the US reader jumping all over me


I know a traditionally published author from Ireland. She once complained about a low rating on Amazon due to what the reader said were typos. The book was published in UK English.

Ross at Play

I have a two related questions.
I have seen a story with a character known by something like 'Friendly'. [I am using something like it here to protect the writer's identity]
This character is NOT friendly; they are actually EXTREMELY EVIL.
I can see the author's logic in putting this name in italics to indicate the name needs to be interpreted ironically.
***
My questions are:
1. Is this technically incorrect? I think it is. Once names have become proper nouns they are only be written with capital(s). That is the name, it's as simple as that, and whether the name reflects reality is irrelevant.
2. Do you think it is okay on SoL for the author to continue using italics for this name? As a reader, I accept it. This character truly is an evil bastard.

Switch Blayde

@Ross at Play

My questions are:


I would not put it in italics.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ross at Play


I have a two related questions.


I use a very common convention that I have seen in some style manuals and used by many fiction authors where a Nickname is originally given like it's a book title with a single apostrophe on either side and in italics, but after that it's presented like any other name of a person. Thus you have Daniel 'Sarge' Riley when he's first introduced, and after that he's simply called Sarge.

I'd not put the name in italics every time it was used.

typical typo edit

docholladay

Even Canada has a difference in spelling for some words than the US. It is to be expected that writers will use the spelling forms they are used to. Although Ernest tries to use the form of the country/region in the story itself. Those differences are going to happen, I enjoy them myself. Its the differences I both gain new knowledge and questions from.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Although Ernest tries to use the form of the country/region in the story itself.


Actually, I try to match the narrative to the main character and use the spelling and words of their background, but will vary to the location of the story setting for other characters and some terms when I know them. For example my Aussie characters talk about utes in Australia and pick-up trucks in the USA, Aussie characters and narrative say arse hole while US characters say asshole. I do it to make it more natural looking, and I think it adds flavour.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I would not put it in italics.

I agree. It's an ironic name. Flagging each use as being 'ironic', is itself ironic, and pointless. Either the reader gets it or they don't. No about of bashing them over the head will force them to get the point.

Crumbly Writer

Ernest, your biggest issue is that you're putting Australian characters into an American setting, thus setting a natural obstacle for readers to overcome (i.e. you're intermixing two different cultural perspectives). This is natural, but you're got to anticipate several readers to have troubles with this, as you'll, by necessity, be mixing spellings, address forms, as well as certain nouns along the way, which they're likely to see as inconsistencies.

The one way to avoid that would be to only write for Australian readers, but that limits who you can reach.

I suspect your fans appreciate your story's appeal, but you're voluntarily making the stories themselves more complex, thus you've got to expect pushback over it on occasion, just as I expect it when I set my main characters up for tragic ends, which fans, understandably, don't appreciate.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
REP

People in general, US and elsewhere, know how to spell the words they use. What they don't know is that the spelling of some words differ in certain regions. Therefore, they automatically assume the writer's spelling is wrong.

It is apparent that the best way to resolve this problem is to inform your reader(s) that in some regions, words are spelled differently.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Ernest, your biggest issue is that you're putting Australian characters into an American setting, thus setting a natural obstacle for readers to overcome


Actually, most readers have no issues with this aspect of cultural mixing. I've even had emails congratulating me on bringing it off.

The person complaining in the original email did so only because I used both spellings in the story because of the situation with one be the name of the place. I found that kind of ironical. In another story I have the Aussie character using the word arse, and the US character respond with a similar comment but spell it ass because that's the US spelling. I find it also helps because there is a slight different in how we pronounce the word, both groups say it the way it's written.

Switch Blayde

@REP

Therefore, they automatically assume the writer's spelling is wrong.


I used to run a story site and I'd edit every story submitted. I'd leave UK spelling as UK spelling and US spelling as US spelling.

However, sometimes I didn't know there was a difference and thought it a typo. The word that comes to mind is "tyre." I changed it to "tire" until I found out it was the UK spelling of "tire."

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I changed it to "tire" until I found out it was the UK spelling of "tire."


So you tired of the tyre changes, huh - hehehehehe

Replies:   REP
REP

@Switch Blayde

I didn't know there was a difference and thought it a typo


I know. I learned that lesson by diplomatically mentioning what I thought was a typo to a UK author.

He was very nice in the way he corrected my mistake.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Ernest Bywater

So you tired of the tyre changes, huh - hehehehehe


So if SB is tired of tyre changes, perhaps he should lay down flat and get some rest.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

So if SB is tired of tyre changes, perhaps he should lay down flat and get some rest.


Or call for a tow truck.

Replies:   Argon
Argon

@Ernest Bywater

Or call for a tow truck.

You mean a breakdown lorry?

Replies:   sejintenej
Switch Blayde

@REP

So if SB is tired of tyre changes, perhaps he should lay down flat and get some rest.


Didn't you mean "tyred of tyre changes"?

Crumbly Writer

@REP

People in general, US and elsewhere, know how to spell the words they use. What they don't know is that the spelling of some words differ in certain regions. Therefore, they automatically assume the writer's spelling is wrong.

It is apparent that the best way to resolve this problem is to inform your reader(s) that in some regions, words are spelled differently.

It always helps, no matter how many times you've done it before, to demonstrate how the Australia character's speech varies from the Americas', contrasting them initially, so readers are prepared for the spelling difference, though I imagine Ernest has already covered that.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I changed it to "tire" until I found out it was the UK spelling of "tire."

"I'm tired of changing "tyre" to "tire", though "exhausted" works just as well. :)

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Argon

@Ernest Bywater

Or call for a tow truck.

You mean a breakdown lorry?

No, a heavy lift vehicle

sejintenej
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I changed it to "tire" until I found out it was the UK spelling of "tire."

"I'm tired of changing "tyre" to "tire", though "exhausted" works just as well. :)

No, tired is fed up, exhausted is shagged out

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@REP

He was very nice in the way he corrected my mistake.

I had an issue which arose long after I'd been writing, where an editor pointed out I was inconsistent between my American and UK spellings, something I was never aware of. Apparently, I'd read both so frequently I was never aware of adapting some spellings instead of others. Because I was in the middle of a 6 book series, I didn't change, and thus I kept at it, though no readers ever complained.

I should really go back and change everything I've ever written, but the thought is exhausting (tyring)!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
richardshagrin

@REP

So if SB is tired of tyre changes, perhaps he should lay down flat and get some rest.


Or lie down and tell some lies.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

I imagine Ernest has already covered that.


Yes, I noticed how he handles that in some of the stories he sited in the US.

sejintenej

@REP

People in general, US and elsewhere, know how to spell the words they use. What they don't know is that the spelling of some words differ in certain regions. Therefore, they automatically assume the writer's spelling is wrong.

I hope that readers are not that stupid. Who doesn't know that USA people mix up their s and z compared to Commonwealth people?
Another problem is different concepts; I have just come across the following in a story which illustrates the difference:

I didn't think a drink would be the best for me until I was sure my head was right, but I did enjoy a beer with the others

.
Obviously Americans don't think beer is a drink whereas over here anything with any real alcohol is classified as a drink in such circumstances. (We would refer to "soft drinks" to cover those with no alcohol unless we actually name them)

Replies:   REP
richardshagrin
Updated:

There are states or other jurisdictions like counties and municipalities that license Bars to serve Beer but not "hard drinks" with liquor. That may be one reason some people distinguish a "drink" from Beer, or a soft drink. Which in some regions are sodas, or colas, or just plain coke (without the capital letter, made by the company with headquarters in Atlanta.) There are probably other regional names for fizzy soft drinks, carbonated beverages with various flavors. I understand once upon a time Coke had opioids in its formula, which is why there is a street drug called "coke" in powder form that is usually sniffed.

Replies:   bondsman  Switch Blayde
bondsman

@richardshagrin

richard, lets take it back one more step, the plant those opiates comes from is the coca plant. Whether that's where the name of the soft drink - or not so soft if the inclusion of cocaine is true - came from the same source is a question I don't know the answer too.

In the late 1800's drug laws were much more lax than today lots of "patent medicines" were available "over the counter", some were effective, like laudanum, others were pure snake oil. CocaCola was intended to be a patent medicine, so it probably had derivatives of the coca plant in it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca-Cola

Coke had opioids in its formula, which is why there is a street drug called "coke" in powder form that is usually sniffed.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@sejintenej

I hope that readers are not that stupid.


Are you talking about readers like the ones who go off on writers because they, the reader, didn't read the story codes or they failed to understand the type of content in a story from the codes they did read.

In regard to 's' and 'z', each to his own is my belief. It is not our fault the Commonwealth does it wrong. :)

We are very much aware that beer contains alcohol. I have no idea of what the author had in mind with that statement. Perhaps he thought that one drink of hard liquor, typically 40% alcohol, would have far more impact on the drinker than one beer.

The fact is, here in the US:

o A bottle of beer is typically 12 fluid ounces and rated at a nominal 5% alcohol, which means it contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol. However, some beers can have an alcohol content of up to about 16%.

o A shot of hard liquor, which is what the author refers to as a drink, is 1 fluid ounce and rated at about 80 proof (40%), which means the drink has about 0.4 fluid ounces of alcohol. Some distilled liquor has a higher proof rating, but most of the commercial products are 80 proof. and we also need to remember that for most distilled liquors (i.e., whiskey, gin, vodka, etc.), the bartenders and others are notoriously heavy handed in pouring a shot and gets more than 1 ounce.

The only advantages of sipping on a beer over sipping on a drink are that it takes longer to finish the beer, and the drinker doesn't feel the effects as much, and the drinker may consume multiple distilled liquor drinks in the time the beer drinker takes to finish the first beer.

sejintenej

Over here we don't use the word "soda" except when referring specifically to Soda Water. Generally we would refer to soft drinks by name - Ginger Beer or Fanta for example or generically as soft drinks.
The two word concoction would be referred to by its full name or Coke (with any appropriate adjective such as "light") whilst the copies are usually referred to as Colas or by the trade name such as Pepsi.
As for the difference in licencing France seems to have the same difference between beer and harder drinks. I think wine is a sort of in-between but for any alcohol there were minimum drinking ages, even at home. Theory and practice differ; after a silent (raised eyebrows + nod) permission my twelve year old grandson was served wine in a public restaurant.

Replies:   REP  Not_a_ID
REP

@sejintenej

my twelve year old grandson was served wine in a public restaurant.


Personally, I think teaching young people to drink responsibly is a great idea. Teaching them that alcohol is a beverage to be enjoyed in moderation, rather than something used to get drunk, is something our society should adapt.

Here in the US, young people of about 16-21 go wild when alcohol is made available to them, and that is when they get in trouble.

sejintenej

REP: I agree with you but the question is "why the difference between French, Italian, Portuguese kids and those in the UK and (evidently) the USA".
In France kids are allowed wine at home and in 18 years I only SAW one person drunk. A neighbour also had

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Ross at Play
sejintenej
Updated:

REP: I agree with you but the question is "why the difference between French, Italian, Portuguese kids and those in the UK and (evidently) the USA".

In France kids that I know are allowed wine at home and in 18 years there I only SAW one person drunk. A neighbour had a DUI conviction. On the other hand at New Year they drink from sunset to the next day when they go door to door - drinking but acting sober (or otherwise going home).
In the UK it seems to be a competition to drink heavily and then more. We see them getting off the train from work and going straight into the nearest bar. In Norway when I was there buying spirits was very difficult but when they could get them they were drunk in strict privacy. Get them on the boats outside Norwegian waters and they would drink themselves oblivious.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I had an issue which arose long after I'd been writing, where an editor pointed out I was inconsistent between my American and UK spellings, something I was never aware of.


There is a variant of English called International English where they recognise both the US and UK spellings as valid. Thus you can US spelling for one word and UK spelling for another, and to be consistent you only need to keep using the one way of spelling a word throughout.

Replies:   sejintenej
Not_a_ID

@sejintenej

REP: I agree with you but the question is "why the difference between French, Italian, Portuguese kids and those in the UK and (evidently) the USA".
In France kids are allowed wine at home and in 18 years I only SAW one person drunk. A neighbour also had


In my home state, and I imagine this is the case in many others as well. A child can legally consume alcoholic beverages,

1) So long as they are at a private residence.
2) They have parental consent.(Their parents, not the parents @ the residence in question)
3) They remain at that residence until they are no longer "under the influence."

If they leave the property, they can then be prosecuted for underage consumption, and the adults involved can likewise be subjected to prosecution.

I think there also is a small carve-out for other "religious observances," but as those typically involve only very small servings. The child should be below the legal limit anyhow, so prosecution wouldn't get very far.

Crumbly Writer

@bondsman

ichard, lets take it back one more step, the plant those opiates comes from is the coca plant. Whether that's where the name of the soft drink - or not so soft if the inclusion of cocaine is true - came from the same source is a question I don't know the answer too.

At the time Coke was first developed, the coca plant had just been discovered and everyone was selling products containing cocaine in one form or another. It's never been proven that Coke had actual cocaine in it (they've always refused to release that information), the circumstances strongly support it.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@sejintenej

Over here we don't use the word "soda" except when referring specifically to Soda Water. Generally we would refer to soft drinks by name - Ginger Beer or Fanta for example or generically as soft drinks.


There actually are numerous studies on the phenomenon of soda/pop/coke/soda pop/etc here in the US, depending on where you are, you'll get different answers from the locals. Of course, with social mobility being what it is these days, some regions have a great deal of variety as to which answer you may get from a local. In some cases, even the same person may use different forms of the term depending on mood, where they are, or any number of other things.

I ultimately settled on "soda" for myself when I'm being generic, as all "fizzy drinks" are essentially a flavored derivative of soda water. Considering that the main ingredient is normally carbonated water, by whatever means that carbonation is introduced. If I'm being specific, then I'll use the brand name for the drink for the specific drink I'm wanting.

I also found that asking for "soda" doesn't confuse as many people, and tends to avoid more smart-ass or even violent reactions you may get when asking for "a pop." (Which in some regions can be interpreted as a punch to the face)

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

It's never been proven that Coke had actual cocaine in it


You should read this:

http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/cocaine.asp

It did used to have some cocaine in it, but not much worth worrying about.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

It did used to have some cocaine in it, but not much worth worrying about.

As has already been mentioned, it's mostly fizzy water anyway. I wouldn't expect them to put much of anything of value in it.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I changed it to "tire" until I found out it was the UK spelling of "tire."

Surely you meant to say: I changed it to "tire" until I found out that was the US spelling of the word "tyre." :-)

Ross at Play

@sejintenej


I changed it to "tire" until I found out it was the UK spelling of "tire."
"I'm tired of changing "tyre" to "tire", though "exhausted" works just as well. :)

No, tired is fed up, exhausted is shagged out

No, tired is hilarious, (sorry CW) exhausted destroys the joke.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Ross at Play

No, tired is hilarious, (sorry CW) exhausted destroys the joke.


Until someone sticks a banana in the tail pipe.

Ross at Play

@sejintenej

In France kids are allowed wine at home and in 18 years I only SAW one person drunk. A neighbour also had

I accept your point about cultural differences, but you would have seen many people drunk, but merely not noticed they were.
I did some of my best programming for an Australian government department when over the DUI limit, AND stoned on hashish to a level beyond what most regular users of marijuana (alone) would think was enough for their "needs".
It took a lot of "practice" to get there. :-)
I can assure many people can return to work after lunch with the smell of hard liquour on their breath and their coworkers will be oblivious to whether they had one or ten shots for lunch.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Ross at Play

I accept your point about cultural differences, but you would have seen many people drunk, but merely not noticed they were.


Higher tolerances built up over time, plus availability of transportation options that didn't require them to drive themselves around probably helps a lot in that regard. The United States itself has its share of "high functioning" drunks, but that doesn't make them safe behind the wheel of an automobile. Their reflexes and reaction times are still rather sketchy at best.

Replies:   Ross at Play  REP
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

At the time Coke was first developed, the coca plant had just been discovered and everyone was selling products containing cocaine in one form or another. It's never been proven that Coke had actual cocaine in it (they've always refused to release that information), the circumstances strongly support it.

All products made at that from coca leaves would have contained a precursor chemical that now is mostly chemically processed into cocaine (for illegal purposes).
A similar situation existed with laudanum. The contained a raw extract (merely dried into a powdered form) from the opium poppy. That same raw extract is mostly chemically processed into heroin (for illegal purposes).
A significant difference between these types of products was whether it was possible to consume enough of the product containing an addictive chemical for the body to develop a physical tolerance, i.e. could you use enough so that regular use then an abrupt stop would cause withdrawal symptoms.
For laudanum the amount needed to develop a physical tolerance would be measured in millilitres (or fluid ounces) per day, for Coca-Cola and most products containing chemicals originating from the coca plant that level would be measured in litres (or gallons).

Switch Blayde

@richardshagrin

or a soft drink. Which in some regions are sodas, or colas, or just plain coke


It's called soda in NYC. It's called pop where I live now (I guess short for soda pop).

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Ernest Bywater
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

It's called pop where I live now (I guess short for soda pop).


Or the sound that's made when you open a sealed container with it inside. (or what the lid would sometimes do, back in the day of the glass containers)

Onomatopoeia is still a thing that's out there. However it came to be, it's all speculation at this point.

Ross at Play

@Not_a_ID

Higher tolerances built up over time, plus availability of transportation options that didn't require them to drive themselves around probably helps a lot in that regard. The United States itself has its share of "high functioning" drunks, but that doesn't make them safe behind the wheel of an automobile. Their reflexes and reaction times are still rather sketchy at best.

What you said is absolutely correct, but the end point when someone develops EXTREMELY high tolerance levels is far more frightening for the community than that.
My second DUI was 0.26% after a one person crash after less than half a mile from my start point.
I THOUGHT I had learned my lesson from the first DUI, that I would always use some other transport option when over the legal limit. At levels of 0.05% (the local limit) up to about 0.20% I would always do so.
My experience was that "high functioning" drunks can develop tolerance levels so they can still do SOME functions, but not all functions.
I could still walk (stumble) and find a car at 0.30% (and death is quite common at levels of 0.40%), but the self-preservation instinct function of my brain became nonfunctional at a level somewhere between 0.20 and 0.25%. Beyond that I could forget I was incompetent to drive, but capable and determined to try.
I would point out that the way my metabolism processes alcohol is quite unusual. It appears that only about 10-15% of people are ever capable of developing such high tolerances.
***
I am grateful that the CERTAINTY of months in jail for another DUI similar to first two was the motivation I needed to have remained totally abstinent for approaching 30 years.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

It's called pop where I live now


That could cause problems in some families, to ask for pop and end up still thirty because your grandfather is called over.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


That could cause problems in some families, to ask for pop and end up still thirsty because your grandfather is called over.


Typo fixed for you. It's worse in other ways. "A pop" can also be a reference to a punch. "I popped him a fast one one, right square on the nose." I encountered this one while in boot camp when somebody asked for "a pop" and someone else nearby asked why he was wanting to be punched.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Not_a_ID

in boot camp when somebody asked for "a pop" and someone else nearby asked why he was wanting to be punched.


There's an old cartoon joke from Smith's Weekly an Aussie newspaper from way back when. The cartoon was toward the end of WW1 and it shows a drunken soldier hanging onto a lamp pole saying to another person, "Touch me for a pound? For a pound you can bloody well punch me!" - - at that time the term to 'touch' mean to ask for a loan of.

Ross at Play
Updated:

THIS ONE IS A DOOZY ...

***

I have a sentence of this form:

?They both said the same,? Bill and Bob answered.

Bill and Bob are clones. Neither knows which is the "original", and it's not surprising they sometimes say exactly the same words.
Bill is in his human body, he speaks, and his dialogue is enclosed in quotation marks.
Bob is currently living as just his brain in a mechanical body, he sends, and his communications are enclosed in angled brackets.
***

What would you replace the question marks with in the above sentence?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sejintenej
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


There is a variant of English called International English where they recognise both the US and UK spellings as valid. Thus you can US spelling for one word and UK spelling for another, and to be consistent you only need to keep using the one way of spelling a word throughout.


That is all very well for the D.Lit s amongst us but the general populace has never heard of that and wouldn't know if the other of US or British English is spelt correctly. IMHO it is something to avoid.

edited for International English spelling

another edit! Just a thought; Americans seem to say "visit with ..." and South Africans say "go by ...." to mean loosely "have a natter". What other countries use those or other expressions with the same meaning?

Replies:   Not_a_ID  REP  Ross at Play
Not_a_ID

@sejintenej

another edit! Just a thought; Americans seem to say "visit with ..." and South Africans say "go by ...." to mean loosely "have a natter". What other countries use those or other expressions with the same meaning?


Just so long as they don't start rooting around the place without permission.

REP

@Not_a_ID


Higher tolerances built up over time


It is not the tolerance of alcohol that increases. What happens is the person learns how to behave in a sober manner, while drunk on their ass.

Replies:   Ross at Play
REP

@sejintenej

have a natter


Not a common phrase in the US. When out of context, some of us might think you meant - Have a tatter. :)

Replies:   sejintenej
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

What would you replace the question marks with in the above sentence?

I'd still use quotation marks, though, to differentiate the speech, you might employ italics, though that requires informing the reader of the convention (you can generally introduce it by folding it into the conversation (ex: Bill and Bob answered in unison)).

Replies:   Ross at Play
sejintenej

@REP

sejintenej

have a natter

Not a common phrase in the US. When out of context, some of us might think you meant - Have a tatter. :)

You had me there. At first I thought you were using a slang word I have never seen written but which sounds like tayter (spud or potato). When I looked it up I realised that it is a noun for what we only use in an adjectival clause - "in tatters".

Replies:   REP
REP

@sejintenej

I realised that it is a noun for what we only use in an adjectival clause - "in tatters".


Actually, I was referring to the way some people say tayter.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@REP

Actually, I was referring to the way some people say tayter.


That is spelled 'tater' as in tater-tots.

Replies:   sejintenej  REP
sejintenej

@Capt Zapp


That is spelled 'tater' as in tater-tots.

Oh! I had to look that up. You mean croquettes.

This shows how much language can have changed but surprisingly dealing with people in Manhattan, DC, Naples and Miami there was never any sort of lack of understanding like this!
Contrarywise the Portuguese I heard on International Drive, Orlando is identical to that of Rio de Janeiro which alledgedly in incomprehensible to someone from São Paulo, 240 miles away

REP
Updated:

@Capt Zapp

True, but I have also heard the pronunciation of: tat' ter.

Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

You mean croquettes.

Not quite. Instead, it a light, fluffy potato like carb you pop in your mouth, a piece at a time.

Ross at Play

@REP

@Not_a_ID
Higher tolerances built up over time

@REP
It is not the tolerance of alcohol that increases. What happens is the person learns how to behave in a sober manner, while drunk on their ass.

NOT MY EXPERIENCE
At age 20, I could not get beyond 0.20% without vomiting and going to sleep/falling into unconciousness.
At age 30, I could walk and find my car beyond 0.30%.
I practiced a lot in the decade in between. :-)

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play
What would you replace the question marks with in the above sentence?

@CrumblyWrite
I'd still use quotation marks, though, to differentiate the speech, you might employ italics, though that requires informing the reader of the convention (you can generally introduce it by folding it into the conversation (ex: Bill and Bob answered in unison)).

Funnily enough, I sent the writer an explanation yesterday explaining they could introduce almost anything (e.g. acronyms, nicknames), provided it was explained adequately to readers the first time it was done. :-)

Ross at Play

@sejintenej

to mean loosely "have a natter". What other countries use those or other expressions with the same meaning?

The Oxford Dictionary lists "natter" as both a noun and verb, mentioning "British English, informal ... early 19th Century".
I've heard it, perhaps even used it myself, in Australia.

richardshagrin

@sejintenej

Based on one (long ago) visit to Portugal (Cascaias, near Lisbon) the Portuguese don't recognize any Brazilian Portuguese as Portuguese.

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