NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > GENERAL DISCUSSION > Screenwriting Bar & Lounge
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - English Spelling and Slang
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

English Spelling and Slang

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
Author
Message
Requiem View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Regular
NYC Midnight Regular


Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 238
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Requiem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: English Spelling and Slang
    Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 8:02am
I'm starting to panic now.

I usually write my scripts in American English, but this year my script's set in England and I've used English spelling and a lot of English slang.

Now, I'm sure readers will forgive my use of two Ls in travelling, but in the past I've had readers call me on words like KERB which is the correct English spelling of CURB. I hope I don't get marked down on stuff like this. It wouldn't seem right to write an English comedy with American spelling

Spelling aside, I'm worried that a lot of my comedy will be lost because of the slang I've used.

Example:

Do any Americans here know what a NONCE is?

What about a TODGER?

Am I talking BOLLOCKS?



Back to Top
kirstenb View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 49
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirstenb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 8:05am

so long as I pretend it is hugh grant reading those lines - I seem to instincitvely know exactly what they mean.  Smile

Kirsten

28_KROGER STORE #325 9/3/14/11:52 - Romance/Grocery Store/Video Camera
Back to Top
not2diversified View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote not2diversified Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 8:13am
You don't want to get a big trouser cough from the judges and get tossed aside because they don't understand proper British English.  Wink  I'd lean towards the American spelling as I'm sure some of the judges will be American and might not get the nuances of British English.  You might want to consider changing the dialogue straight away.
Back to Top
aurora68 View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt


Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 736
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aurora68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 8:27am
Originally posted by Requiem Requiem wrote:

Now, I'm sure readers will forgive my use of two Ls in travelling, but in the past I've had readers call me on words like KERB which is the correct English spelling of CURB. I hope I don't get marked down on stuff like this. It wouldn't seem right to write an English comedy with American spelling

Spelling aside, I'm worried that a lot of my comedy will be lost because of the slang I've used.

Example:

Do any Americans here know what a NONCE is?

What about a TODGER?

Am I talking BOLLOCKS?
 
Okay, first things first.  Traveling can be spelled with one 'l' or two, and any American dictionary will support that.  So don't worry about that one.
 
As far as spelling is concerned, I'd be careful.  I think most well-read Americans will know that the British spell color as colour, etc.  But I didn't know about 'kerb.'  I think a nonce is a moment, but I've no idea what a todger is. 
 
That said, I think there's probably a way to give your script a British flavoUr without losing the comedy.  You don't say whether you're British or American, but I would have an American who's not fluent in British slang read your script and see what they say about it.
Back to Top
Requiem View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Regular
NYC Midnight Regular


Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 238
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Requiem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 8:35am
Originally posted by aurora68 aurora68 wrote:

I think a nonce is a moment, but I've no idea what a todger is. 


Uh oh....

Technically a nonce is a moment, but it's also a slang term for a sex offender.

I think it's back to the drawing board on this one Shocked

I am English btw.
Back to Top
aurora68 View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt


Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 736
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aurora68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 8:42am
Originally posted by Requiem Requiem wrote:

Uh oh....

Technically a nonce is a moment, but it's also a slang term for a sex offender.

I think it's back to the drawing board on this one Shocked
 
*winces*
 
Sorry.  What heat are you in?  As long as we're not in the same heat, I'll be happy to give your script a look and tell you which words I don't understand.  I'm in Heat 2, Comedy/Weightlifting.
Back to Top
Chris Messineo View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt


Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 867
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Messineo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 8:55am
I love when scripts toss in "local color".  I think it makes the read more authentic and fun.

Chris
Back to Top
aurora68 View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt


Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 736
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aurora68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 9:37am
Originally posted by Chris Messineo Chris Messineo wrote:

I love when scripts toss in "local color".  I think it makes the read more authentic and fun.

Chris
 
I actually agree with this.  But I think if it's a comedy and the local color means that the humor's not coming through because potential readers don't understand the slang -- and if the meaning's not clear from the context -- that's a problem.
Back to Top
ABEAR111 View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt


Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 942
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ABEAR111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 9:55am
Originally posted by Requiem Requiem wrote:



Do any Americans here know what a NONCE is?

What about a TODGER?

Am I talking BOLLOCKS?



 
Don't worry about it, we Americans are smarter than you Brits give us credit for, we can just naturally figure things out:
 
NONCE = NONCE, NTWICE, Three times
TODGER = A long spoon, as in, "I stuck my todger in the blender."
BOLLOCKS = The drummer in the Sex Pistols
 
See, so feel free to go ahead and use all that formal English stuff you feel like.
Back to Top
ABEAR111 View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt


Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 942
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ABEAR111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2006 at 9:58am
Originally posted by aurora68 aurora68 wrote:

Originally posted by Chris Messineo Chris Messineo wrote:

I love when scripts toss in "local color".  I think it makes the read more authentic and fun.

Chris
 
I actually agree with this.  But I think if it's a comedy and the local color means that the humor's not coming through because potential readers don't understand the slang -- and if the meaning's not clear from the context -- that's a problem.
 
Seriously, you MUST consider your audience, which really puts you at a disadvantage, but hey - if you don't like it submit it to the London Midnight Run.  You can go the forum where you can ask questions of the competition and see if they think it's a problem.  They are usually pretty quick to get back for you.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.03
Copyright ©2001-2019 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.188 seconds.