Hey, people. I have no idea why is this getting to me, but I am a bit genuinely curious about what people think. Not to name any names or titles, but we can all agree that as a US-based app and company, it makes sense that a majority of stories, user, featured and Official, are set in North America and written in US English. I don’t blame authors all around the world writing similar set-ups as a result. What’s a bit jarring to me though is that characters in those stories would be American, talk about American things, etc, but out of the blue, they would say ‘Don’t look at my knickers’ or ‘you arsehole’.
It’s not to say if you done it before, it’s not something which makes a story automatically bad. With the modern world, I kinda expect speakers of different English varieties interchanging terms like fries/chips, or your cousin’s boyfriend’s coworker is an Anglo- or Ameri-phile but for me it goes a bit overboard when it’s not just one person in a story, it happens throughout the story, like everyone in (unnamed US state) knows what a domestic, slag, or Sheila is. Sometimes, maybe even more often, there may be points where a story is overemphasising it’s Americanness by using a lot of US slang every few lines. Hell, even the spelling of some words could be a bit weird to the English or American reader.
What does anyone think about this? Are you a bit guilty of this yourself or not?
english is english
most of us learn it as a second landguage. I learn Brithis english in school, and American through tv. of course I mix it up. I am already writhing in a second landguage how am I to know what the diffrence is.
I feel like it’s annoying when people go over the top. I do get that people who are British do say a lot of slang/words associated with Britain but when I mimic Americans I don’t go over the top. It’s all a bit stereotypical
I actually see the opposite? I see British characters using US-English and US-English slang and colloquialisms. And these character’s are written by US-American authors who are not familiar with or don’t understand that slang and English is different in the UK, Australia etc.
I don’t think it’s intentional most of the time, and authors are just doing what they know. Or sometimes what they think they know. It doesn’t bother me too much since Episode stories are generally lacking in building the setting that shapes the characters’ choices and motivations. You might know the MC lives in London or NYC but it for the most part never matters at all. I think that makes authors less likely to get familiar with how language is used in a place they’re not from.
That being said, the more details that are accurate and realistic, the more the reader will be absorbed in the story. There are a couple non-language details that are almost always inaccurate in stories that really take my head out of the story, but that’s slightly different conversation for some other time lol
I don’t believe I have witnessed this. But, if the author is British and the character is American. I don’t see an issue with that.
Honestly English is my second language so I don’t really care about different slangs and in school books there’s just grammar.
I’m probably guilty of this. Most of the time probably because I didn’t realise there was an American alternative of the word, or that some sayings and cliches aren’t said over there. I guess unless the story is explicitly said that it is set in the US and the characters are American then it’s fair game to assume it’s set somewhere else than there, but if that is the setting and a character randomly says something British I would be a bit erked.
I’m probably guilty of this too. I’ve actually lived in Canada and my boyfriend is Canadian, so I’ve actually found I’m even worse now because I’ll use both versions of the same word in the same story or even same chapter
Maybe the writer is british or from a country that was once colonized by Britain so they do it naturally. Me for example I tend to flip flop between British and American English and sometimes slang, it’s not very easy for me to stick to one or the other. So maybe I’m sort of guilty of this as well
BUT I’ve never really seen this happen, or maybe I have but I just havent noticed, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
I’ve just reread this and even I’m confused to what I said. What I meant was, unless the author explicitly says the story is set in America, then it’s fine to assume the story could be set elsewhere. Therefore it would be okay to have characters saying British things etc, as it isn’t stated it is American.
You know, I don’t think I’ve noticed any stories with glaring obvious slang like the above. When I say I’ve done it, I meant things like boot vs trunk or trolley vs shopping cart etc.
Oh, I’ve been called out a ton of times for things like organisation lol. I’m not changing for Episode. Readers can deal with my British English spelling
Firstly, I’d assume it’s just because people don’t know any better and it’s easy to mix up different spellings. My first language was British English and now as a Canadian I find that sometimes my slang and spelling can get mixed up even though I haven’t spoken in an English accent in almost a decade.
I’d also like to say it has something to do with the aesthetic of British slang and spelling. There are positive connotations associated with British English and that it is superior and represents a higher status in wealth and social standing. So it’s easy to slap a British dialect on a U.S. born character to make them seem otherworldly in comparison to other, less noble characters.
Also people think that British accents are hot so that’s another reason you’ll find American (often bad boy) love interest characters saying “mate” and “you lot”
I’m pretty sure I mix it up all the time because English is not my first language. I started learning it in elementary school and at that time our teachers strictly believed that English was British English, and that we would fail on a language exam if we ever tried to speak American English. But then I grew up on US sitcoms, so I unintentionally picked up some phrases that “I was not supposed to”. And now I work with people from many different countries, and most of the time I have no idea what kind of English they use. I try to go with US English in my stories, but tbh I’m glad that I can even write a story in another language
I do this sometimes, my stories are set in America, but the only American English I know is based off tv shows and books, so that’s why it isn’t 100% accurate, but I think I’m getting better!
There’s creators all over the world, readers as well. But, most typical high school story lines fit better with how American school is set out. Say for instance in the UK, we finish high school at 16 and head to college then. Yet college is not the same as college in America. But, everyone knows Americans finish school at 18. It’s so much easier to put characters in a setting that’s age appropriate for what the author wants and can fit well with the story line. Explaining how British or other counties educational system or other similar things work when a setting that is understood by pretty much everyone without an explanation is so much easier. That being said, no one can help their own slang, there’s words some people don’t even realise others don’t understand.
The only time it really bothers me is when it is consistent, and obvious the author didn’t take into consideration/research their story setting. I’m talking about Mom - Mum, College - Uni (even worse when they try to play American colleges like they are in the UK. We have a LOT of general education requirements before we can even start taking degree specific courses). or “legal” drinking under the age of 21.
Thanks to everyone who responded so far. You make interesting points on different things, and I realise that I could have sounded a bit accusatory or spiteful, excuse me for that
Anyways, I forgot to add this point in OP. I’m not sure it’s because of how my computer’s set up but when I try to use British spelling on some words I get that squiggly red line underneath and the Portal marks it as a spelling error. Is it the same for others?
The same thing happens to me and I hate it. Sometimes I forget how to spell words and writing in the UK English as well forgetting how to spell words can be so confusing for me. So I just change some words into the US English just so the red line can go.
Ooh yeah, that’s very true. Also with the ‘more noble’ thing, I’ve read at least one story where the British person also happens to be pretty snarky and sassy, so that may be something