I have read two fics in the last two days in the TeenWolf Fandom clearly written by British-English speakers and each time they use phrases that are simply NOT IN California dialect AT ALL when writing a fic from Stiles' perspective. It drives me crazy.
I want to write them a note -- the word "whilst" is NOT in the California speaking vocabulary. The idioms "sitting down to tea" (or variations thereof) are not part of California teen-speech. The tough part is that it's not simply single words, it's phrasing, sentence structure, and tone. (and whoever said you can't understand tone on the internet was wrong. Sure, tone can be misconstrued, but we've been writing tone into our sentences since we first put sentences together into books -- it's there in fiction writing and it's there on the internet and it will be there whenever we write words down).
And sure, I haven't been a CA teen for a while, but trust me, I know what they sound like.
for example, this sentence:
That point is by-the-by.
great sentence. don't get me wrong. but NOT A SENTENCE STILES WOULD EVER EVER THINK. because Stiles? Does not know how to properly use by-the-by. It is not part of his lexicon. And there is a specific California dialect. I promise. I've lived in it.
These authors clearly put time into their work, which is why i'm ranting here, not at them. at the same time, why not ask someone to help with these things, if you're putting that much time into it? Maybe they don't know? Since they got a lot of other slang right, maybe they know and don't care? I tried once to talk to someone about how their Xander didn't just sound a bit British, he sounded like he was just about ready to grab his torch to head out to the shops for a bag of chips (and Bob's your uncle!) and they told me since they had someone in New York telling them their fic was fine, my opinion and objections weren't something they had time to listen to. Which is sad since NY vernacular doesn't sound like CA at all. I had to stop reading their fic, because i'd get kicked out of it every other paragraph. And the same thing is happening now.
/rant. sorry for cluttering up your day with this, but omg. it's been one thing after another. had to get it out.
Ok, so, basic problem - she doesn't say words she means to say and she doesn't understand the import of what I say. Sadly, this weird communication thing happens every day. This morning our conversation went like this:
Me: "oh my god, that kid is yelling its head off. Does it do this every day after I leave, because I've only heard it in the evening?" (kid had been yelling its head off for half an hour at that point)
Her: "That's why I close my windows when I watch TV, because there are kids in all the apartments around us and I want to be respectful and keep the noise in the apartment."
last night our conversation went like this:
Her: "Don't forget we have to wear suits to this special meeting we're having tomorrow."
Me: "Really? Because I'm pretty sure that Professor X said we have to wear suits to the final meeting where we present our work, and we have to dress nicely to go the other meetings, but not wear full suits. But hey, I can't wear a suit right now anyway because I didn't pack one. I guess I'll need to buy one sooner than the end of the year."
Her: "But I'm fairly sure Prof said we have to wear suits to all the meetings."
Me: "Ok, I still can't wear a suit because I don't have one."
Her: "But Prof, in that one meeting we were together, said we had to wear them."
And finally, the Party planning - we sat down Sun to talk over our expectations about guests (great!), and after I outlined that my guidelines are that its ok to have people over, but we need to be respectful of space and get ppl out by a decent hour on school nights, and the hosting person cleans up after guests (fine, good, yes, we both agree) she said:
I basically agree. And if you ever told me you were uncomfortable with something, I would immediately cancel that plan.
NOW, here's the thing, she's saying she'd do this for me, but what she has been saying about this get together that I've been planning is that she's uncomfortable with me having people over FROM THE GET GO. She doesn't know them. She doesn't want to hang out with them. She went so far as to tell me she was trying to figure out how to lock her door by shoving a chair up against it. A few hours later she told me she was going to take a weekend trip, and also pack as many of her valuables as she could carry and take them with her because she couldn't expect me to make sure they would be safe with people over.
(and guys? this is a 7-10 person 'party' where most people are over 30... a whisky tasting party. TASTING. Not guzzling. TASTING. At most we're gonna get a little loud in the living room and my bedroom)
That sentence above? What does that say to you? To me it says, "Kate, please cancel your plan, because I'm uncomfortable with it. And because I would do it for you."
I shook my head a bit at this point, then point blank asked,
"Housemate, you have mentioned that you are uncomfortable with this party I am planning. Does that mean you are asking me to cancel it?" (i used a level voice, promise)
"Oh, no, that's not what I meant at all." comes the reply.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEN??????
She means that she's REALLY not ok with even the hint of a possibility people will stay the night. That's the offer she doesn't want me to extend to people (which I didn't - I talked to her about it being a 'just in case, just in case' thing). And the reason why she wanted me to move the party earlier was so there wouldn't be a chance in hell someone slept over.
The tough part here isn't just that I didn't understand what was important in she was saying, but that she also clearly didn't understand what I was saying when I first talked to her about these things, and again later when I tried to explain it again. When I said, "I'm thinking of having a whisky tasting party - when would be ok with you?" i didn't mean a drop-dead-drunk rager, though that's what she envisioned (which we also clarified Sunday was what she thought I was going to have -- which is why she was worried about locking out drunken people who were staggering into her bedroom to steal her things). When I said "i want to check, just in case" it didn't mean that it was 100% going to happen, it just meant I'm trying to check in before hand. When I said "I am not planning a sleep over, I'm just trying to make sure that if something goes wrong you won't be surprised in the morning" she apparently heard "i'm going to have people sleeping on your bedroom floor"
So, anyway, problem solved for the moment.
but dear gods i'm getting tired of EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION having these moments of disjuncture. the only thing that saves my sanity is that Sam understands me. Other people at the center understand me. So I am speaking in intelligible sentences. I do say things that mean what they say. Just not for her, apparently.
also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl