Monday, July 5, 2010

A Post on Local Dialect

Local Dialect. How do you include it in your novel?

My WIP is set in the Philadelphia area. Just like any other area, there are some unique words and phrases that we use around these parts. We eat hoagies, not heroes, subs or grinders. We also go down the shore, even if the shore happens to be directly east of where we live. I've also been told on several occasions that I don't say water correctly. Thanks to NJ, I pronounce it like wooder. Last but not least, when I'm getting ice cream, I order it with jimmies not sprinkles.

Here in NJ, we also have some unique food items. We're blessed with delicious pizza, amazing cheesesteaks, and italian ice to die for. We also have a store called WaWa which is made of pure awesome. It's open 24 hours, you can fill your car with gas and pick up a variety of prepared foods. The store even has milkshakes!

So the burning question is: do I incorporate this into my WIP, or leave it out for words that are more familiar to the general public? For now, these words and phrases are in there where appropriate, but there were a few places where I struggled. Maybe when I go back for edits I'll be able to work them in more naturally.

For more on dialect, here's a blog post from The Kill Zone.

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