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?