Writing in Dialect

Have you ever tried to write in an accented voice?

It’s veeerra veer deeeficult.

We have a learned expectation that Dr Johnson gave us that our speech follows the spelling of the words we see.

Conversely – when he made his dictionary, he tried to spell the words he heard using the 26 letter alphabet. And he also tried to standardise what he heard to the meaning of the word Big mistake.

Gather any half dozen people together, and have them read the same item of standard English aloud. There are all manner of subtle differences, often most pronounced in the vowels, and all of them, collectively, giving a stamp of origin to your speech.

Do you come from Wooler or Wallington? – Craster or Corbridge? your speech will make the announcement for you.

And now – try to reflect that subtlety in the roman alphabet.

See what I mean?

And if you can write it down. How does anyone know how to reproduce the sound the way it started out?

Think abaht it.

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