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Author Topic: Victorian grammar Nazi  (Read 731 times)
CPT_J_Percell
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« on: June 12, 2013, 08:43:05 pm »

Victorian grammar Nazi

I have an odd question.

Would a Victoria have used the following phrase?

Quote
I am a twenty something student of ...
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RJBowman
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 09:15:02 pm »

No.
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 11:30:14 pm »

I doubt it.
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 11:34:45 pm »

"I am a young (wo)man, yet to reach thirty years of age, who currently studies assiduously in the area of..."

Sorry, they tended to be verbose by our standards and far more correct in their grammar.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 11:42:16 pm »

The literature presented a formalized language style that I suspect was less common in real life conversations.
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Narsil
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 12:07:26 am »

It also depends on the person and the context.  Our modern perception of Victorian language is probably colored by the fact that the sources we have available tend to be, by their nature, on the formal side, even things which we would consider quite intimate and personal.

Having said that it's more difficult to draw conclusions about spoken language, especially in casual conversation as we have very little direct evidence. Even today people don;t necessarily talk in the same way that they write.

If you're trying to emulate Victorian English you need to be careful of lapsing into stereotypes just as much as of modernisms....I seriously doubt that many people really spoke with all this 'felicitous salutations on this most beneficent day my esteemed colleague, I look forward with the greatest excitement to renewing our acquaintance on the morrow' business.

If you read something like the original Conan-Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories the language is actually a lot less alien than you might expect, certainly there is certainly a certain amount of obsolete vocabulary but the basic use of language isn't that far away from what a well spoken person would use today.

A lot of this comes from literature like Austin and Dickens which contains an element of satire on this sort of affected mannerisms. Even today there are planty of examples where people speaking on public record use language in a very differnt way to what we would recognise as normal conversation.

If you really want to get a better grasp of Victorian language probably the best bet would be to have a look at as wide a variety of contemporary sources as you can.


 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 12:12:22 am by Narsil » Logged







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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 12:10:13 am »

The literature presented a formalized language style that I suspect was less common in real life conversations.

Among the lower & middle classes, & PART of the upper classes, certainly.  Some of the upper class tended to be quote "proper" & "correct"- we might consider them somewhat haughty, while they would probably look down on us for our speech patterns.  They would consider us "quaint" or "rustic".
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 06:33:06 am »

Thank's, it felt wrong as I wrote it.
I just wanted to make sure that I was right, that it felt wrong.
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Clym Angus
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 12:43:05 pm »

Slightly more than a score, but a gentleman never asks and a lady never tells.
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