Let’s Talk Regional

Story Empire

Hello, SeERs. Mae here today to talk about something I never tire of discussing—regional dialect.  I love books wherein an author paints their characters with distinctive speech patterns, colloquialisms, and accents. By the same token, a little goes a long way. I recall reading a novel set in Scotland where the constant use of brogue became such a distraction I couldn’t focus on the plot. It’s great to be authentic, but also important not to become so caught up in regional inflections and expressions that they bury the scene.

I’ve lived in south-central Pennsylvania my entire life. Surprisingly—unbeknownst to me—people from my region have an accent. Who knew? Apparently, the well-travelled can recognize a south-central Pennsylvania accent along with many of our favorite colloquialisms.

Casual setting in pub/coffee bar, people chatting in foreground

As an example . . .

We’re famous for tagging “a while” on expressions.

I’m going to ride my bike, awhile.
I’ll feed the cat, awhile.

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