Do you change spelling for an Irish or Scottish accent?
CoalTit · 19/11/2018 05:51
Why to people change spellings as if to show a reader from the south of England how to pronounce them in the writer's accent?
For example, Irish people who write "bate" for "beat" and "auld" for "old" and Scottish people who write "hoose" and "aboot" and "weel" for "well".
When authors do it (Irvine Welsh with the Scottish accent inTrainspotting, or Jennifer Worth with cockney accents in Call the midwife, or Margaret Mitchell with the accents of the slaves in Gone with the wind) they're clearly assuming something about the reader's accent, and that they're showing the reader something different.
Why do you do that when you're on Facebook, or in a comments section?
It seems quite mad to do it with a word like "house" for example, when the Scottish pronunciation of "house" is more logical and phonetic than the southern English one.
Bouldghirl · 23/03/2019 16:19
Having friends who are both Scottish & Welsh I would say that the written word should follow the pronunciation. I say house - my Scottish colleague says hoose. I know what she means and would expect the written text to reflect that. Welsh is much trickier - they use their own Welsh words that bear little resemblance to the English. Again it’s only by knowing what they mean that you can get the true picture. My lovely Welsh sister-in-law will often ask for a cootch. Yeah! I was a bit shocked too till I discovered it was cwtch (God I hope I spelled that right) and just means a hug or cuddle! I’d rather people used language correctly. I don’t need or want spoon fed some Anglicised version of what was said. Authenticity please!
featheredheart · 14/05/2019 15:10
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Chewysmum · 09/10/2019 16:20
I'm Scottish, I may not be in the majority, I'm not sure as I'm not on Facebook or any other social media, but when I am commenting on something on MN or similar I use proper English. In this context how each commenter pronounces words is irrelevant and therefore I think people should write clearly and concisely so everyone understands. I also think it important to use proper grammar (although I'm completely uneducated so may get it wrong sometimes).
However, if I'm texting/messaging a friend I sometimes use Scottish pronunciations. I also enjoy it in literature. So I agree there is a time and place for this
RueCambon · 09/10/2019 16:28
Blimey this is risky. Not a writer but I am Irish and I don't think my accent goes against the rules of pronouciation! 🤷♀️
Like, bate instead of beat, is that an accent or a variation in parts of Dublin. Because cheat isn't chate. Seat isn't sate.
RueCambon · 09/10/2019 16:34
Also, do English people ever do this intentionally?
Eg, I have seen supprise not surprise. A specifically English mistake. And "lore and order" (law and order). But I don't think this sort of thing is ever deliberate!
Some of the Scottish spellings might be mistakes??
Another mistake I would see only from a bearer of a certain accent is when a word ends in a uh sound but the writer puts an er on the end. The only example i can think of is Francesker 🤣
CoalTit · 23/09/2020 09:48
I have often wondered this, OP. I've even thought exactly what you've written about the Scottish pronunciation of the word house being the most logical, obvious one, unless you're assuming that the reader speaks a certain way.
I am afraid to ask the people who do it because I suspect it is an affectation related to national pride, or pride in a culture that is in grave danger of dying out, and that they would get angry and defensive if questioned. I did read somewhere once that schoolchildren were being told by their teachers that spelling english words in a different way makes them dialect, to the horror of people who know the dialect.
@RueCambon: I'm sure that Scottish and Irish people do it intentionally at least some some of the time, because nobody can make that many spelling mistakes, and it can't be coincidence that the different spellings always end up making a word sound like a Scots or Irish person's accent when spoken by a southern English person: eedjit, roide, hoose.
LizzieAnt · 04/11/2020 06:02
A bit late to this conversation, but just to add that the words 'bate' or 'auld' would convey to me (as an Irish person) different shades of meaning than would 'beat' or 'old'. Or more precisely, using those non-standard spellings would convey information on the writer's mood or intent..which may be humorous or irreverent.
As for eejit rather than idiot - the word is used a lot in Ireland (idiot is used less) and though eejit is derived from idiot the pronunciation is quite different. Again there's a slight disparity in meaning - eejit isn't as harsh maybe, at least where I'm from. I consider them separate words at this stage.
I can't comment on the Scottish words you mentioned.
LizzieAnt · 04/11/2020 06:32
I don't think that the Irish writers, at least, are trying to show you how to pronounce the words in their accent.
They're just trying to pinpoint their meaning to those of us who use 'bate' as well as 'beat' , 'auld' as well as 'old', and 'idiot' and 'eejit' in speech.
GreenlandTheMovie · 25/02/2021 09:08
I'm Scottish but also speak Dutch. How is the Scottish pronunciation of "house" more phonetic and logical than the English (notwithstanding that several northern English dialects also use the "oo" sound? I find the OP sound easier to read if represented by the Swedish or Norwegian characters anyway, which some Shetland dialect speakers write. The "oo" sound is much more common in Scandinavian languages and often moderates the letter in front of it (eg where a "sk" or "sj" precedes it, the prounucuation changes to a "sh" or 'wh" sound).
The "ou" sound is simply standard northern Germanic pronunciation. The Dutch word is "huis" and is pronounced in the same way. The "oo" sound seems based either on retention of an older form of English or Norse pronunciation following the former Danelaw areas.
Neither is more or less logical. Different dialects within a language are common but would only become more logical if the dividing line between dialect and a whole different language were present.
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