Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Way You Speak




The other day I grabbed a bite to eat at a fast food restaurant. I zoomed into the drive-through and gave the employee my order, and then she asked me if I wanted a coke.

Instantly, I was taken aback because "coke" is not the norm for me to hear in Utah. When I want a cold refreshing drink with carbonation in it (which isn't very often), I say "Soda Pop". That's how I've always said it. Maybe it's a Utah thing or a King Family thing. Who knows? 

Anyway, I've heard people say the following when referring to this kind of beverage:

"Pop"
"Soda"
"Coke"
"Soda Pop"

Depending on where you live can contribute to how you speak, not just the accent but the slang or specific words you use. For instance, Utahns tend to drop the "t" sound when speaking. Example: Mountain sounds like Mounain or Fountain sounds like Founain. Or when a Utahn says the word For it sounds like Fur. Yes, very hickish, I know. I lived in England for a while. Every so often, I find myself calling the garbage can a rubbish bin. Don't ask me why of all the phrases I could have picked up on, rubbish bin won out. haha

My WIP is from the POV of an Irish girl. I've had to add in certain phrases or just little words here and there to make her sound authentic but not to the point that I'm going overboard. It's been fun to build my MC into a bubbly little Irish lass. Oh, she's so adorable. Just you guys wait!

Well, what do you say when referring to a nice cold carbonated beverage? What types of slang do you use or do you pronounce words differently because of where you are from? Have you ever written a character with a different accent? Do tell...

Writing. Jewels. 

32 comments:

  1. I'm from Canada, but contrary to popular belief we don't say "eh". I think that when you're writing a character who is from somewhere else, you can't go too overboard or else it will be hard to read.

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    1. Indeed. Have you ever read Wuthering Heights? The servant man is SOOOOOOOOOOO hard to understand. Sometimes I just skipped over his parts. But older classics tend to go overboard on the accents. That makes them sort of cool though.

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  2. I say "soda", but then I grew up in Utah. Around here they say "coke"

    I agree with Patti, when doing dialect you need just enough to flavor the writing. I have had characters that speak in different dialects but I generally get so paranoid about it I take them out.

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    1. That's why I've only put in little words here and there for my character. I like how you said to have enough flavor to the writing. Very nice.

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  3. I absolutely grew up with "Coke" meaning every imaginable soda. You were asked, "Do you want a Coke?" then specified which soft drink. However, I use "soda" with my kids.

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    1. I've read some books that say "coke" and have figured it is an umbrella term for all. If I didn't know that, I'd have been super confused when I went to the fast food resaurant. haha

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  4. I'm in New York and we say "soda" :)

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    1. I wonder where it is most common for people to say "coke". Would make for an interesting, yet, sort of pointless study. But would make a difference in how a character speaks depending on where they're from.

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    2. "Do you want a Coke?" and the follow-up question "What kind?" I learned in college to be predominately southern.

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  5. LOL! I've never said "soda" or "pop" before! That's funny! I'll totally say "coke."

    Hope the WIP is going well! Sounds verrrry fun :D

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    1. Hmmmmmmm! Maybe soda or pop aren't a Utah thing. WIP is going well.

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  6. I know that words for carbonated beverages vary across the US. Up here in New England, it's pretty much always called soda or maybe coke. I probably use other particulars, too, but I won't realize it until I speak to someone from somewhere else. Have fun with the WIP!

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    1. I asked my coworkers what they say. One of them told me the distinction: People from the South say Coke; people from the east say Soda; and people from the West say Pop. Well, at least that's his take on the subject. *shruggs*

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  7. We say "pop" in Ohio. :) I can't wait to hear more about your WIP!

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    1. I'm intigued if this Pop, Soda, Coke, and Soda Pop thing is an English speaking phenomenon. Well, I guess if we are given so many options, we have to decide upon one... Everyone is different. Anyway, I'm babbling. I'll shut up now. haha

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    2. Have you ever seen this? It's a bit dated, but interesting!

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  8. I'm from the PNW and we say Soda.

    But in Japan, we say "Cola". ;) (And it's almost always plain regular Coca Cola, because they never figured out they can have variety...)

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    1. PNW??? What does that stand for? I've traveled to South Korea, China, and Taiwan and have yet to see a Root Beer. Of what I've been told by natives, they dislike Root Beer's taste. A lot. This could be said for in England, too. I may well be generalizing though. haha

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  9. I've got family in Wyoming, and there's a bit of an attitude about people who say "soda" (which I do) as opposed to "pop" which they do. Makes me smile.

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  10. I say soda. I was born in California, but we moved to Utah when I was 9. When I worked retail, I always asked if they wanted a sack and people thought I must have grown up on the east coast somewhere.

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    1. I'm trying to think what I say at a retail store. I think I say bag. Yes, that's it. haha

      And yay for Utah!

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    1. In France we say "coca" if we want coke or "soda" (insert little French accent) if we want some other carbonated drink. (:

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    2. The French accent. Oh la la! Beautiful. I so have to go back to France soon. Sigh!

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  12. I've lived all over, so not sure where I picked it up, but I say pop.
    Thanks for following my blog!

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    1. Now that I think of it, Alex, I don't think I've ever heard anyone else but myself say "soda pop". I'm strange. haha

      Thanks for following me back. Love having you here.

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  13. I really don't drink soda anymore, but I call it either soda or by the brand name, Pepsi, Coke, Sprite, etc.

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    1. I hardly ever drink soda pop. Occasionally (like once every three months) I'll have a rootbeer. Other than that, I drink water.

      Good point about calling it by name. :D

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  14. I get a soda.
    my mom gets a soda pop.
    my husband gets a mountain dew ;-D

    Those little things are what makes the difference in the end.

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    1. Haha a mountain dew. That's great! LOL

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  15. I usually say pop nowadays, even though I've only lived about two and a half non-consecutive years in Southwestern Pennsylvania. I have a couple of other terms and pronunciations I've picked up from my family, like calling a basement a dugout, asking where someone is at instead of just where someone is, and pronouncing creek "crick." I've heard way more hickish pronunciations there, and still think yinz/youns/younses is like nails on a chalkboard. That's the Southwestern PA version of y'all or yous guys.

    The city my paternal grandma lives in (also Mr. Rogers's real-life neighborhood), Latrobe, is really pronounced La-TROBE, but a lot of natives say LAY-trobe, and even insist that people who correct them are incorrect. Oh well, I had one teacher who pronounced Arabic as A-RAY-bic as well! I was so embarrassed for him when he kept saying "A-RAY-bic numerals," among other mispronunciations.

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