Thursday 17 November 2011

Regional Dialects And Why I Apparently Write Like A Leprechaun From Central Casting

I was working on my Nanowrimo project the other day, when I noticed one of those annoying little red squiggles had come under one of my sentences.

I looked at the screen, puzzled. I could see nothing wrong with the word in question. It was 'amn't', a contraction of 'am not'. Maybe Microsoft Word had made a mistake. But I looked and the spell check was set to English UK. I decided to Google it, and I found out that while amn't is an actual word, it's mostly used in hiberno English and Scottish English. (Hibernia is the Roman word for Ireland-land of winter). Apparently the majority of the English speaking world would use 'I'm not' rather than 'I amn't' to say I am not. Who knew?

Using that word identifies the writer with a certain strand of English, and I didn't know that word was one used mostly by Scottish and Irish people.

Do you guys have any words that you use that are particular toyour region? If they're not widely known do you avoid using them? Or do you think it gives your writing an extra flavour?


  1. Here in the North of England, it's 'owt and nowt for anything and nothing. I don't tend to use them though, simply because I don't think anyone else does :-)

  2. LOL. I have NEVER heard of this. How interesting! Well, coming from Austrlia, I could hit you with a lot of slang. But try this one on for size. What do you think this is saying: "Air ya gun?" :)

  3. Iowa doesn't really have a dialect or any fun words, though we do pronounce Iowa as I-wa. Not I-O-wa.

    That's very interesting that you found that out!

  4. most certainly. Being bilingual welsh/english plays hell with the 'real word' syndrome.... and my little sister wasn't even aware that there were two languages when she was little- she spoke and wrote an odd mix of both!

  5. amn't?
    ha ha ha
    never hoid of it! hee hee

  6. That's interesting. It's like the difference between forwards and forward. In Britain it's forwards, but in the USA it's forward. Still, I prefer forwards. I don't get a red line under it, so I'm sticking with it.

  7. I like your posts...very interesting.