Archaic Words

Librariangraphic    Pat here:

Every so often on writers’ lists a discussion will break out over the historical use of words. We fight over archaic terms like doth and hath, and we quibble over the origins of Heyer’s Regency slang, some of which she seems to have been made up.  We pull out our Partridge’s Vulgar Dictionary and track down boxing cant. Mostly, we’re trying to obtain the unobtainable—an historically accurate fictional world that a modern reader can understand.

I know I’ve stumbled across any number of words that have totally different meanings today than two hundred years ago, but of course my lamentable memory can never recall them when I need them. (If you can think of some, click comment below and remind me.) I went web-surfing to see what I could turn up.

This site http://knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/List_of_archaic_English_words_and_their_modern_equivalents/ has a nice list of archaic terms and their origins, including medieval usages such as dost, hath, and goest that modern readers might understand but would despise reading unless they were heavily into poetry.  It also mentions one that drives my editor insane— “gaol” instead of “jail.”  I don’t see why that’s so hard to grasp. It’s the appropriate English term for the time.  But she hates it, so I have to assume a lot of readers would feel the same.  So now I avoid putting my heroes behind bars.  I realize that if my characters called Jail someone a “drab” or a “cove,” I’d have to include some clue in the sentence so today’s reader would read it as “whore” or “fellow” instead of “boring” and “water inlet.”  It’s doable, if I want the historical resonance. But adding explanations slows the pacing and takes up valuable space, so I have to be careful inserting archaic verbiage.  But I do love words like Cyprian and impure for ladies of the evening—so very rakish, right?

Another fun site is http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=a
I used that one to look up get, a word that is sadly overused in modern language and didn’t have the same meanings in Regency days.  If you dig through the definitions, you’ll see that the original meaning of get was from 1200, “to obtain, reach.”  That one still holds up today.  But “to get” as in “I got it, I understood it,” didn’t come into use until 1892.  “Getaway” is 1852, and “get-up” for costume is 1847.  I’m sure I’ve found a dozen other ways to use get that I’ve had to excise from my drafts, but the sound is already hurting my head.  Oh, and get as in someone’s offspring would be a Regency term that modern readers would have to look twice at before understanding, I suspect.

Stoop A word Mary Jo caught my Regency character using the other day was stoop. I come from a German-Dutch area of New York and we called our back steps “stoops.”  But an English Regency character wouldn’t be familiar with the word. Does the modern American reader care?

Of course, it isn’t just individual words that we must screen with a magnifying glass and OED in hand to achieve our historical goals.  It’s possible to create an historical ambiance using words we have today by combining them in a more leisurely, aristocratic pattern (Or leisurely Cockney or rural or whatever, if you're good at that). I consider speech patterns to be creating character more than historical language, but if it works….  My Regency hero in my current manuscript thinks “If guns were the solution to his problems, he had a vast array from which to choose.”  Had I written that from the perspective of a modern hero, he’d be far more likely to say, “If blowing his brains out would solve his problems, he had an arsenal at hand.”  All the words were in use in both periods, but I hope to convey a more historical tone by using more nuanced and less blunt language. Is it working? Guns

And reading through the current WIP, I came across: Off guard, parenting, and banty hen.  I’ve been warned about off guard, told that it’s a football term that wasn’t available in the Regency, but I can’t find it in the etymology or Websters.  And it’s danged hard coming up with a synonym—He was caught off guard. He was caught asleep? <G>  Not precisely what I meant!  Parenting, of course, is blatantly contemporary, but just try coming up with a decent substitute.  “Rearing a child is difficult” might be correct, but “Parenting is difficult” simply sounds better to my modern ear. Rearing approaches my definition of archaic, right along with doth and hath, but that's probably just me.  And I seriously regret looking up banty hen because I’m going to use it anyway.  No one says banty any longer, so it has a nicely historical flavor. It’s a corruption of bantam and may still exist in the hills of Appalachia, where some form of 18th century English still lingers.  So I’ve convinced myself that my 19th century characters would have used the word, too.

Will my depredations upon classic Regency language cause my book to be flung against the wall?  What jars you out of a peaceful read, sends you to the dictionary, or causes you to be so irritated you set a book aside?

130 thoughts on “Archaic Words”

  1. Wonderful post, Pat. I’ve had the gaol/jail fight and decided to accept that it’s just a spelling thing, like colour. Your post perfectly expresses the constant tension between historical accuracy and a readable voice. Of course there is no true HA – if we all wrote perfectly “in period” I doubt we’d have many readers. Few (OK none) of us can write as well as Jane Austen.
    A friend started to write a book set in 12th century France and found herself obsessing about language, until she realized what her story would be like in 12th century French.
    “What jars you out of a peaceful read, sends you to the dictionary, or causes you to be so irritated you set a book aside?”
    In the end, bad writing and an unbelievable story. One part of my brain may register an infelicitous modernism but if I’m gripped by the book I don’t care.

    Reply
  2. Wonderful post, Pat. I’ve had the gaol/jail fight and decided to accept that it’s just a spelling thing, like colour. Your post perfectly expresses the constant tension between historical accuracy and a readable voice. Of course there is no true HA – if we all wrote perfectly “in period” I doubt we’d have many readers. Few (OK none) of us can write as well as Jane Austen.
    A friend started to write a book set in 12th century France and found herself obsessing about language, until she realized what her story would be like in 12th century French.
    “What jars you out of a peaceful read, sends you to the dictionary, or causes you to be so irritated you set a book aside?”
    In the end, bad writing and an unbelievable story. One part of my brain may register an infelicitous modernism but if I’m gripped by the book I don’t care.

    Reply
  3. Wonderful post, Pat. I’ve had the gaol/jail fight and decided to accept that it’s just a spelling thing, like colour. Your post perfectly expresses the constant tension between historical accuracy and a readable voice. Of course there is no true HA – if we all wrote perfectly “in period” I doubt we’d have many readers. Few (OK none) of us can write as well as Jane Austen.
    A friend started to write a book set in 12th century France and found herself obsessing about language, until she realized what her story would be like in 12th century French.
    “What jars you out of a peaceful read, sends you to the dictionary, or causes you to be so irritated you set a book aside?”
    In the end, bad writing and an unbelievable story. One part of my brain may register an infelicitous modernism but if I’m gripped by the book I don’t care.

    Reply
  4. Wonderful post, Pat. I’ve had the gaol/jail fight and decided to accept that it’s just a spelling thing, like colour. Your post perfectly expresses the constant tension between historical accuracy and a readable voice. Of course there is no true HA – if we all wrote perfectly “in period” I doubt we’d have many readers. Few (OK none) of us can write as well as Jane Austen.
    A friend started to write a book set in 12th century France and found herself obsessing about language, until she realized what her story would be like in 12th century French.
    “What jars you out of a peaceful read, sends you to the dictionary, or causes you to be so irritated you set a book aside?”
    In the end, bad writing and an unbelievable story. One part of my brain may register an infelicitous modernism but if I’m gripped by the book I don’t care.

    Reply
  5. Wonderful post, Pat. I’ve had the gaol/jail fight and decided to accept that it’s just a spelling thing, like colour. Your post perfectly expresses the constant tension between historical accuracy and a readable voice. Of course there is no true HA – if we all wrote perfectly “in period” I doubt we’d have many readers. Few (OK none) of us can write as well as Jane Austen.
    A friend started to write a book set in 12th century France and found herself obsessing about language, until she realized what her story would be like in 12th century French.
    “What jars you out of a peaceful read, sends you to the dictionary, or causes you to be so irritated you set a book aside?”
    In the end, bad writing and an unbelievable story. One part of my brain may register an infelicitous modernism but if I’m gripped by the book I don’t care.

    Reply
  6. I love words, and finding out what’s appropriate to the period.
    Here’s a link of Regency meanings of modern words:
    http://www.io.com/~dierdorf/nono.html#jump
    In one of my stories, the editor made me change “consols” to “the government’s consolidated annuities”.
    But in another story, one villain tells the other he found a handkerchief. The second villain replies “Ye ‘found’ it in that gentry cove’s pocket.” This editor left it in.
    You’re right about using words that mean the same now as they did 200 years ago and still retaining the Regency feel. Today we would say “What’s wrong?” I would have a Regency person say “Is something amiss?” A modern reader will understand what’s going on and it’s not using strange words.
    As for “gaol” and “jail” I recently read a book (Harlequin Historical, no less, and they’re picky), where about half the time when the author meant “gaol”, the editor (or the spell checker) changed it to “goal”. Other times, the “gaol” remained “gaol”, and the rest of the time it morphed into “jail”. Go figure.
    As for using modern words in the past, three modern words are really pet peeves of mine:
    A Regency character says “He doesn’t have a cent to his name.”
    “Cent”, from 1786, is American money. “Penny” is English money. The two words mean the same in the US, but not in the UK.
    Then there is the favorite “pants” for “trousers”. “Pants” didn’t come in until 1840
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=pants&searchmode=none
    And then there is the ever-popular “OK”, from 1839. Not in a Regency romance, please.
    Besides having two of these out of period, all three words are Americanisms. The US wasn’t very popular in Britain then, what with the War of 1812 going on, and a Regency person wouldn’t use them.
    And I do all this work and I wonder if anyone notices. Maybe I should just write lots of sex. **grins**

    Reply
  7. I love words, and finding out what’s appropriate to the period.
    Here’s a link of Regency meanings of modern words:
    http://www.io.com/~dierdorf/nono.html#jump
    In one of my stories, the editor made me change “consols” to “the government’s consolidated annuities”.
    But in another story, one villain tells the other he found a handkerchief. The second villain replies “Ye ‘found’ it in that gentry cove’s pocket.” This editor left it in.
    You’re right about using words that mean the same now as they did 200 years ago and still retaining the Regency feel. Today we would say “What’s wrong?” I would have a Regency person say “Is something amiss?” A modern reader will understand what’s going on and it’s not using strange words.
    As for “gaol” and “jail” I recently read a book (Harlequin Historical, no less, and they’re picky), where about half the time when the author meant “gaol”, the editor (or the spell checker) changed it to “goal”. Other times, the “gaol” remained “gaol”, and the rest of the time it morphed into “jail”. Go figure.
    As for using modern words in the past, three modern words are really pet peeves of mine:
    A Regency character says “He doesn’t have a cent to his name.”
    “Cent”, from 1786, is American money. “Penny” is English money. The two words mean the same in the US, but not in the UK.
    Then there is the favorite “pants” for “trousers”. “Pants” didn’t come in until 1840
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=pants&searchmode=none
    And then there is the ever-popular “OK”, from 1839. Not in a Regency romance, please.
    Besides having two of these out of period, all three words are Americanisms. The US wasn’t very popular in Britain then, what with the War of 1812 going on, and a Regency person wouldn’t use them.
    And I do all this work and I wonder if anyone notices. Maybe I should just write lots of sex. **grins**

    Reply
  8. I love words, and finding out what’s appropriate to the period.
    Here’s a link of Regency meanings of modern words:
    http://www.io.com/~dierdorf/nono.html#jump
    In one of my stories, the editor made me change “consols” to “the government’s consolidated annuities”.
    But in another story, one villain tells the other he found a handkerchief. The second villain replies “Ye ‘found’ it in that gentry cove’s pocket.” This editor left it in.
    You’re right about using words that mean the same now as they did 200 years ago and still retaining the Regency feel. Today we would say “What’s wrong?” I would have a Regency person say “Is something amiss?” A modern reader will understand what’s going on and it’s not using strange words.
    As for “gaol” and “jail” I recently read a book (Harlequin Historical, no less, and they’re picky), where about half the time when the author meant “gaol”, the editor (or the spell checker) changed it to “goal”. Other times, the “gaol” remained “gaol”, and the rest of the time it morphed into “jail”. Go figure.
    As for using modern words in the past, three modern words are really pet peeves of mine:
    A Regency character says “He doesn’t have a cent to his name.”
    “Cent”, from 1786, is American money. “Penny” is English money. The two words mean the same in the US, but not in the UK.
    Then there is the favorite “pants” for “trousers”. “Pants” didn’t come in until 1840
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=pants&searchmode=none
    And then there is the ever-popular “OK”, from 1839. Not in a Regency romance, please.
    Besides having two of these out of period, all three words are Americanisms. The US wasn’t very popular in Britain then, what with the War of 1812 going on, and a Regency person wouldn’t use them.
    And I do all this work and I wonder if anyone notices. Maybe I should just write lots of sex. **grins**

    Reply
  9. I love words, and finding out what’s appropriate to the period.
    Here’s a link of Regency meanings of modern words:
    http://www.io.com/~dierdorf/nono.html#jump
    In one of my stories, the editor made me change “consols” to “the government’s consolidated annuities”.
    But in another story, one villain tells the other he found a handkerchief. The second villain replies “Ye ‘found’ it in that gentry cove’s pocket.” This editor left it in.
    You’re right about using words that mean the same now as they did 200 years ago and still retaining the Regency feel. Today we would say “What’s wrong?” I would have a Regency person say “Is something amiss?” A modern reader will understand what’s going on and it’s not using strange words.
    As for “gaol” and “jail” I recently read a book (Harlequin Historical, no less, and they’re picky), where about half the time when the author meant “gaol”, the editor (or the spell checker) changed it to “goal”. Other times, the “gaol” remained “gaol”, and the rest of the time it morphed into “jail”. Go figure.
    As for using modern words in the past, three modern words are really pet peeves of mine:
    A Regency character says “He doesn’t have a cent to his name.”
    “Cent”, from 1786, is American money. “Penny” is English money. The two words mean the same in the US, but not in the UK.
    Then there is the favorite “pants” for “trousers”. “Pants” didn’t come in until 1840
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=pants&searchmode=none
    And then there is the ever-popular “OK”, from 1839. Not in a Regency romance, please.
    Besides having two of these out of period, all three words are Americanisms. The US wasn’t very popular in Britain then, what with the War of 1812 going on, and a Regency person wouldn’t use them.
    And I do all this work and I wonder if anyone notices. Maybe I should just write lots of sex. **grins**

    Reply
  10. I love words, and finding out what’s appropriate to the period.
    Here’s a link of Regency meanings of modern words:
    http://www.io.com/~dierdorf/nono.html#jump
    In one of my stories, the editor made me change “consols” to “the government’s consolidated annuities”.
    But in another story, one villain tells the other he found a handkerchief. The second villain replies “Ye ‘found’ it in that gentry cove’s pocket.” This editor left it in.
    You’re right about using words that mean the same now as they did 200 years ago and still retaining the Regency feel. Today we would say “What’s wrong?” I would have a Regency person say “Is something amiss?” A modern reader will understand what’s going on and it’s not using strange words.
    As for “gaol” and “jail” I recently read a book (Harlequin Historical, no less, and they’re picky), where about half the time when the author meant “gaol”, the editor (or the spell checker) changed it to “goal”. Other times, the “gaol” remained “gaol”, and the rest of the time it morphed into “jail”. Go figure.
    As for using modern words in the past, three modern words are really pet peeves of mine:
    A Regency character says “He doesn’t have a cent to his name.”
    “Cent”, from 1786, is American money. “Penny” is English money. The two words mean the same in the US, but not in the UK.
    Then there is the favorite “pants” for “trousers”. “Pants” didn’t come in until 1840
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=pants&searchmode=none
    And then there is the ever-popular “OK”, from 1839. Not in a Regency romance, please.
    Besides having two of these out of period, all three words are Americanisms. The US wasn’t very popular in Britain then, what with the War of 1812 going on, and a Regency person wouldn’t use them.
    And I do all this work and I wonder if anyone notices. Maybe I should just write lots of sex. **grins**

    Reply
  11. The word “OK” flips me out of the story. Also, the word “crazy” used to, now, I’m not so sure because after some research that word or a portion of that word seems to have been around for a while. Sometimes I’m surprised that words I think of as modern aren’t. So, sometimes I get thrown out of a story and then find out I was wrong. A word that is correct (I think) but throws me out of a story is “daresay”. I think it’s overused.

    Reply
  12. The word “OK” flips me out of the story. Also, the word “crazy” used to, now, I’m not so sure because after some research that word or a portion of that word seems to have been around for a while. Sometimes I’m surprised that words I think of as modern aren’t. So, sometimes I get thrown out of a story and then find out I was wrong. A word that is correct (I think) but throws me out of a story is “daresay”. I think it’s overused.

    Reply
  13. The word “OK” flips me out of the story. Also, the word “crazy” used to, now, I’m not so sure because after some research that word or a portion of that word seems to have been around for a while. Sometimes I’m surprised that words I think of as modern aren’t. So, sometimes I get thrown out of a story and then find out I was wrong. A word that is correct (I think) but throws me out of a story is “daresay”. I think it’s overused.

    Reply
  14. The word “OK” flips me out of the story. Also, the word “crazy” used to, now, I’m not so sure because after some research that word or a portion of that word seems to have been around for a while. Sometimes I’m surprised that words I think of as modern aren’t. So, sometimes I get thrown out of a story and then find out I was wrong. A word that is correct (I think) but throws me out of a story is “daresay”. I think it’s overused.

    Reply
  15. The word “OK” flips me out of the story. Also, the word “crazy” used to, now, I’m not so sure because after some research that word or a portion of that word seems to have been around for a while. Sometimes I’m surprised that words I think of as modern aren’t. So, sometimes I get thrown out of a story and then find out I was wrong. A word that is correct (I think) but throws me out of a story is “daresay”. I think it’s overused.

    Reply
  16. Hi, Pat 🙂
    You know, most anyone who works on/owns or has ever lived on a farm will be able to tell you what a banty is. Yes, you need to specify hen or rooster, but it’s not as archaic as you think 🙂
    Some of the other words that seem archaic now, I think depend on the generation of course. I use words and phrases still that my grandparents use that my daughters would never be caught dead uttering. 😛 I enjoy it though when I come across them in a story. It just seems such a shame to have so many words disappear…

    Reply
  17. Hi, Pat 🙂
    You know, most anyone who works on/owns or has ever lived on a farm will be able to tell you what a banty is. Yes, you need to specify hen or rooster, but it’s not as archaic as you think 🙂
    Some of the other words that seem archaic now, I think depend on the generation of course. I use words and phrases still that my grandparents use that my daughters would never be caught dead uttering. 😛 I enjoy it though when I come across them in a story. It just seems such a shame to have so many words disappear…

    Reply
  18. Hi, Pat 🙂
    You know, most anyone who works on/owns or has ever lived on a farm will be able to tell you what a banty is. Yes, you need to specify hen or rooster, but it’s not as archaic as you think 🙂
    Some of the other words that seem archaic now, I think depend on the generation of course. I use words and phrases still that my grandparents use that my daughters would never be caught dead uttering. 😛 I enjoy it though when I come across them in a story. It just seems such a shame to have so many words disappear…

    Reply
  19. Hi, Pat 🙂
    You know, most anyone who works on/owns or has ever lived on a farm will be able to tell you what a banty is. Yes, you need to specify hen or rooster, but it’s not as archaic as you think 🙂
    Some of the other words that seem archaic now, I think depend on the generation of course. I use words and phrases still that my grandparents use that my daughters would never be caught dead uttering. 😛 I enjoy it though when I come across them in a story. It just seems such a shame to have so many words disappear…

    Reply
  20. Hi, Pat 🙂
    You know, most anyone who works on/owns or has ever lived on a farm will be able to tell you what a banty is. Yes, you need to specify hen or rooster, but it’s not as archaic as you think 🙂
    Some of the other words that seem archaic now, I think depend on the generation of course. I use words and phrases still that my grandparents use that my daughters would never be caught dead uttering. 😛 I enjoy it though when I come across them in a story. It just seems such a shame to have so many words disappear…

    Reply
  21. I love kay. Because I’ve had to many go-rounds with people over the years where they insist a term is wrong, it’s not, and they won’t research it themselves. I love, love, love her for being open about it.
    Nothing flips me out of the story if I’m interested in the characters, a lack of internal logic kills me. A seeming lack of logic that gets explained I can go with – but a full on WTF? moment and I’m done.

    Reply
  22. I love kay. Because I’ve had to many go-rounds with people over the years where they insist a term is wrong, it’s not, and they won’t research it themselves. I love, love, love her for being open about it.
    Nothing flips me out of the story if I’m interested in the characters, a lack of internal logic kills me. A seeming lack of logic that gets explained I can go with – but a full on WTF? moment and I’m done.

    Reply
  23. I love kay. Because I’ve had to many go-rounds with people over the years where they insist a term is wrong, it’s not, and they won’t research it themselves. I love, love, love her for being open about it.
    Nothing flips me out of the story if I’m interested in the characters, a lack of internal logic kills me. A seeming lack of logic that gets explained I can go with – but a full on WTF? moment and I’m done.

    Reply
  24. I love kay. Because I’ve had to many go-rounds with people over the years where they insist a term is wrong, it’s not, and they won’t research it themselves. I love, love, love her for being open about it.
    Nothing flips me out of the story if I’m interested in the characters, a lack of internal logic kills me. A seeming lack of logic that gets explained I can go with – but a full on WTF? moment and I’m done.

    Reply
  25. I love kay. Because I’ve had to many go-rounds with people over the years where they insist a term is wrong, it’s not, and they won’t research it themselves. I love, love, love her for being open about it.
    Nothing flips me out of the story if I’m interested in the characters, a lack of internal logic kills me. A seeming lack of logic that gets explained I can go with – but a full on WTF? moment and I’m done.

    Reply
  26. Oh, the YOU CAN’T SAY THAT page is fantastic, exactly what I needed when I was trying to argue a point the other day. I’ve bookmarked for future reference, thank you! I used the “mount” reference once and had my editor rolling on the floor because she hadn’t understood it. And I hear you about wondering if the readers care about the words, which is why I asked. So stick around, Linda, and let’s find out!
    Kay, I daresay that word is overused. “G” But it’s so lovely….
    And Theo, I know banty isn’t archaic since I still use it “G”, but I’m not only of rural background, but a generation or two older than many new readers. But I fear it may be an Americanism and not suitable for my London hero, who would be familiar with bantam-weight boxers but not necessarily banty hens. And I agree, there are words we ought to keep alive in any way we can. This is one of them.
    Good luck with the gaol, Maggie. See if you can get it by both editor and copyeditor!
    And Liz, I’m with you. Lack of logic or the inability to layer in plot points will cause me to set fire to a book, but that could just be because I have no memory and can’t remember if a word is right for that period (unless it’s Regency, since they’re more firmly set in my head). But like Mary Jo has said before–careless use of titles might cause spontaneous combustion. Lack of research grates my internal editor.

    Reply
  27. Oh, the YOU CAN’T SAY THAT page is fantastic, exactly what I needed when I was trying to argue a point the other day. I’ve bookmarked for future reference, thank you! I used the “mount” reference once and had my editor rolling on the floor because she hadn’t understood it. And I hear you about wondering if the readers care about the words, which is why I asked. So stick around, Linda, and let’s find out!
    Kay, I daresay that word is overused. “G” But it’s so lovely….
    And Theo, I know banty isn’t archaic since I still use it “G”, but I’m not only of rural background, but a generation or two older than many new readers. But I fear it may be an Americanism and not suitable for my London hero, who would be familiar with bantam-weight boxers but not necessarily banty hens. And I agree, there are words we ought to keep alive in any way we can. This is one of them.
    Good luck with the gaol, Maggie. See if you can get it by both editor and copyeditor!
    And Liz, I’m with you. Lack of logic or the inability to layer in plot points will cause me to set fire to a book, but that could just be because I have no memory and can’t remember if a word is right for that period (unless it’s Regency, since they’re more firmly set in my head). But like Mary Jo has said before–careless use of titles might cause spontaneous combustion. Lack of research grates my internal editor.

    Reply
  28. Oh, the YOU CAN’T SAY THAT page is fantastic, exactly what I needed when I was trying to argue a point the other day. I’ve bookmarked for future reference, thank you! I used the “mount” reference once and had my editor rolling on the floor because she hadn’t understood it. And I hear you about wondering if the readers care about the words, which is why I asked. So stick around, Linda, and let’s find out!
    Kay, I daresay that word is overused. “G” But it’s so lovely….
    And Theo, I know banty isn’t archaic since I still use it “G”, but I’m not only of rural background, but a generation or two older than many new readers. But I fear it may be an Americanism and not suitable for my London hero, who would be familiar with bantam-weight boxers but not necessarily banty hens. And I agree, there are words we ought to keep alive in any way we can. This is one of them.
    Good luck with the gaol, Maggie. See if you can get it by both editor and copyeditor!
    And Liz, I’m with you. Lack of logic or the inability to layer in plot points will cause me to set fire to a book, but that could just be because I have no memory and can’t remember if a word is right for that period (unless it’s Regency, since they’re more firmly set in my head). But like Mary Jo has said before–careless use of titles might cause spontaneous combustion. Lack of research grates my internal editor.

    Reply
  29. Oh, the YOU CAN’T SAY THAT page is fantastic, exactly what I needed when I was trying to argue a point the other day. I’ve bookmarked for future reference, thank you! I used the “mount” reference once and had my editor rolling on the floor because she hadn’t understood it. And I hear you about wondering if the readers care about the words, which is why I asked. So stick around, Linda, and let’s find out!
    Kay, I daresay that word is overused. “G” But it’s so lovely….
    And Theo, I know banty isn’t archaic since I still use it “G”, but I’m not only of rural background, but a generation or two older than many new readers. But I fear it may be an Americanism and not suitable for my London hero, who would be familiar with bantam-weight boxers but not necessarily banty hens. And I agree, there are words we ought to keep alive in any way we can. This is one of them.
    Good luck with the gaol, Maggie. See if you can get it by both editor and copyeditor!
    And Liz, I’m with you. Lack of logic or the inability to layer in plot points will cause me to set fire to a book, but that could just be because I have no memory and can’t remember if a word is right for that period (unless it’s Regency, since they’re more firmly set in my head). But like Mary Jo has said before–careless use of titles might cause spontaneous combustion. Lack of research grates my internal editor.

    Reply
  30. Oh, the YOU CAN’T SAY THAT page is fantastic, exactly what I needed when I was trying to argue a point the other day. I’ve bookmarked for future reference, thank you! I used the “mount” reference once and had my editor rolling on the floor because she hadn’t understood it. And I hear you about wondering if the readers care about the words, which is why I asked. So stick around, Linda, and let’s find out!
    Kay, I daresay that word is overused. “G” But it’s so lovely….
    And Theo, I know banty isn’t archaic since I still use it “G”, but I’m not only of rural background, but a generation or two older than many new readers. But I fear it may be an Americanism and not suitable for my London hero, who would be familiar with bantam-weight boxers but not necessarily banty hens. And I agree, there are words we ought to keep alive in any way we can. This is one of them.
    Good luck with the gaol, Maggie. See if you can get it by both editor and copyeditor!
    And Liz, I’m with you. Lack of logic or the inability to layer in plot points will cause me to set fire to a book, but that could just be because I have no memory and can’t remember if a word is right for that period (unless it’s Regency, since they’re more firmly set in my head). But like Mary Jo has said before–careless use of titles might cause spontaneous combustion. Lack of research grates my internal editor.

    Reply
  31. Oh, I don’t know, Bantam as a term for small people goes back to around 1830 or so. 🙂
    I have to admit, I’d much rather read something with more appropriate to the time language. Nothing throws me out of a historical as fast as a ‘modern’ word will.

    Reply
  32. Oh, I don’t know, Bantam as a term for small people goes back to around 1830 or so. 🙂
    I have to admit, I’d much rather read something with more appropriate to the time language. Nothing throws me out of a historical as fast as a ‘modern’ word will.

    Reply
  33. Oh, I don’t know, Bantam as a term for small people goes back to around 1830 or so. 🙂
    I have to admit, I’d much rather read something with more appropriate to the time language. Nothing throws me out of a historical as fast as a ‘modern’ word will.

    Reply
  34. Oh, I don’t know, Bantam as a term for small people goes back to around 1830 or so. 🙂
    I have to admit, I’d much rather read something with more appropriate to the time language. Nothing throws me out of a historical as fast as a ‘modern’ word will.

    Reply
  35. Oh, I don’t know, Bantam as a term for small people goes back to around 1830 or so. 🙂
    I have to admit, I’d much rather read something with more appropriate to the time language. Nothing throws me out of a historical as fast as a ‘modern’ word will.

    Reply
  36. Hi Pat, what a great blog. Word choice is such a dilemma for historical writers, isn’t it? I’m a confirmed etymology nut, but I’m the first to admit that I often make mistakes. Sometimes I deliberately use a modern term because readers will read over it more easily. Like Anne Gracie, I’m an Australian writing about Regency England for the American market so it can become confusing!
    I do have a problem with people yelling at each other: “Fine!” when they’re not talking about the weather or someone’s eyes. It sounds like dialogue out of Friends to me. I don’t throw those books at the wall, though. The story is always what counts.
    The word ‘nice’ is one of those words that has changed meaning over time, I think. It used to mean exacting and now it is a pretty bland compliment.
    Lovely to meet you in D.C., btw!

    Reply
  37. Hi Pat, what a great blog. Word choice is such a dilemma for historical writers, isn’t it? I’m a confirmed etymology nut, but I’m the first to admit that I often make mistakes. Sometimes I deliberately use a modern term because readers will read over it more easily. Like Anne Gracie, I’m an Australian writing about Regency England for the American market so it can become confusing!
    I do have a problem with people yelling at each other: “Fine!” when they’re not talking about the weather or someone’s eyes. It sounds like dialogue out of Friends to me. I don’t throw those books at the wall, though. The story is always what counts.
    The word ‘nice’ is one of those words that has changed meaning over time, I think. It used to mean exacting and now it is a pretty bland compliment.
    Lovely to meet you in D.C., btw!

    Reply
  38. Hi Pat, what a great blog. Word choice is such a dilemma for historical writers, isn’t it? I’m a confirmed etymology nut, but I’m the first to admit that I often make mistakes. Sometimes I deliberately use a modern term because readers will read over it more easily. Like Anne Gracie, I’m an Australian writing about Regency England for the American market so it can become confusing!
    I do have a problem with people yelling at each other: “Fine!” when they’re not talking about the weather or someone’s eyes. It sounds like dialogue out of Friends to me. I don’t throw those books at the wall, though. The story is always what counts.
    The word ‘nice’ is one of those words that has changed meaning over time, I think. It used to mean exacting and now it is a pretty bland compliment.
    Lovely to meet you in D.C., btw!

    Reply
  39. Hi Pat, what a great blog. Word choice is such a dilemma for historical writers, isn’t it? I’m a confirmed etymology nut, but I’m the first to admit that I often make mistakes. Sometimes I deliberately use a modern term because readers will read over it more easily. Like Anne Gracie, I’m an Australian writing about Regency England for the American market so it can become confusing!
    I do have a problem with people yelling at each other: “Fine!” when they’re not talking about the weather or someone’s eyes. It sounds like dialogue out of Friends to me. I don’t throw those books at the wall, though. The story is always what counts.
    The word ‘nice’ is one of those words that has changed meaning over time, I think. It used to mean exacting and now it is a pretty bland compliment.
    Lovely to meet you in D.C., btw!

    Reply
  40. Hi Pat, what a great blog. Word choice is such a dilemma for historical writers, isn’t it? I’m a confirmed etymology nut, but I’m the first to admit that I often make mistakes. Sometimes I deliberately use a modern term because readers will read over it more easily. Like Anne Gracie, I’m an Australian writing about Regency England for the American market so it can become confusing!
    I do have a problem with people yelling at each other: “Fine!” when they’re not talking about the weather or someone’s eyes. It sounds like dialogue out of Friends to me. I don’t throw those books at the wall, though. The story is always what counts.
    The word ‘nice’ is one of those words that has changed meaning over time, I think. It used to mean exacting and now it is a pretty bland compliment.
    Lovely to meet you in D.C., btw!

    Reply
  41. Interesting post, Pat,
    Word choice is always interesting. I tend not to cater too much for modern readers — after all, most of my vocabulary I gained from reading words I didn’t know, and I do love it when words set off different and archaic echoes. But I also don’t want to throw readers out of a story, going Huh?
    As for banty hen, you’ve sparked a memory here. When I was a child and we went to live in Scotland for a year one of the poems our class learned was called A Banty hen.
    It went:
    My banty hen is clockin’
    Is clocking hard clockin’
    My banty hen is clockin’
    and dumpty dumpty dum 😉 (Guess who’s forgotten the line? )
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    Of feathers grey feathers…
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    and dumpty dumpty dum;)
    It went on and I remember loving it. I wish I could remember the whole thing, but I’ve googled it in vain. It was a sweet little poem for children, and the class used to chant it in unison in their lovely Scots accents, and of course, I recite it now with the same accent.

    Reply
  42. Interesting post, Pat,
    Word choice is always interesting. I tend not to cater too much for modern readers — after all, most of my vocabulary I gained from reading words I didn’t know, and I do love it when words set off different and archaic echoes. But I also don’t want to throw readers out of a story, going Huh?
    As for banty hen, you’ve sparked a memory here. When I was a child and we went to live in Scotland for a year one of the poems our class learned was called A Banty hen.
    It went:
    My banty hen is clockin’
    Is clocking hard clockin’
    My banty hen is clockin’
    and dumpty dumpty dum 😉 (Guess who’s forgotten the line? )
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    Of feathers grey feathers…
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    and dumpty dumpty dum;)
    It went on and I remember loving it. I wish I could remember the whole thing, but I’ve googled it in vain. It was a sweet little poem for children, and the class used to chant it in unison in their lovely Scots accents, and of course, I recite it now with the same accent.

    Reply
  43. Interesting post, Pat,
    Word choice is always interesting. I tend not to cater too much for modern readers — after all, most of my vocabulary I gained from reading words I didn’t know, and I do love it when words set off different and archaic echoes. But I also don’t want to throw readers out of a story, going Huh?
    As for banty hen, you’ve sparked a memory here. When I was a child and we went to live in Scotland for a year one of the poems our class learned was called A Banty hen.
    It went:
    My banty hen is clockin’
    Is clocking hard clockin’
    My banty hen is clockin’
    and dumpty dumpty dum 😉 (Guess who’s forgotten the line? )
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    Of feathers grey feathers…
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    and dumpty dumpty dum;)
    It went on and I remember loving it. I wish I could remember the whole thing, but I’ve googled it in vain. It was a sweet little poem for children, and the class used to chant it in unison in their lovely Scots accents, and of course, I recite it now with the same accent.

    Reply
  44. Interesting post, Pat,
    Word choice is always interesting. I tend not to cater too much for modern readers — after all, most of my vocabulary I gained from reading words I didn’t know, and I do love it when words set off different and archaic echoes. But I also don’t want to throw readers out of a story, going Huh?
    As for banty hen, you’ve sparked a memory here. When I was a child and we went to live in Scotland for a year one of the poems our class learned was called A Banty hen.
    It went:
    My banty hen is clockin’
    Is clocking hard clockin’
    My banty hen is clockin’
    and dumpty dumpty dum 😉 (Guess who’s forgotten the line? )
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    Of feathers grey feathers…
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    and dumpty dumpty dum;)
    It went on and I remember loving it. I wish I could remember the whole thing, but I’ve googled it in vain. It was a sweet little poem for children, and the class used to chant it in unison in their lovely Scots accents, and of course, I recite it now with the same accent.

    Reply
  45. Interesting post, Pat,
    Word choice is always interesting. I tend not to cater too much for modern readers — after all, most of my vocabulary I gained from reading words I didn’t know, and I do love it when words set off different and archaic echoes. But I also don’t want to throw readers out of a story, going Huh?
    As for banty hen, you’ve sparked a memory here. When I was a child and we went to live in Scotland for a year one of the poems our class learned was called A Banty hen.
    It went:
    My banty hen is clockin’
    Is clocking hard clockin’
    My banty hen is clockin’
    and dumpty dumpty dum 😉 (Guess who’s forgotten the line? )
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    Of feathers grey feathers…
    She’s made a nest o’ feathers
    and dumpty dumpty dum;)
    It went on and I remember loving it. I wish I could remember the whole thing, but I’ve googled it in vain. It was a sweet little poem for children, and the class used to chant it in unison in their lovely Scots accents, and of course, I recite it now with the same accent.

    Reply
  46. Words are so wonderful.
    I read a few of Jeffery Farnol’s books as a teenager (quite a few years ago. His books are full of the “cant” of the English period in which they were written.
    We have a “Banty” rooster….very vocal, day and night.

    Reply
  47. Words are so wonderful.
    I read a few of Jeffery Farnol’s books as a teenager (quite a few years ago. His books are full of the “cant” of the English period in which they were written.
    We have a “Banty” rooster….very vocal, day and night.

    Reply
  48. Words are so wonderful.
    I read a few of Jeffery Farnol’s books as a teenager (quite a few years ago. His books are full of the “cant” of the English period in which they were written.
    We have a “Banty” rooster….very vocal, day and night.

    Reply
  49. Words are so wonderful.
    I read a few of Jeffery Farnol’s books as a teenager (quite a few years ago. His books are full of the “cant” of the English period in which they were written.
    We have a “Banty” rooster….very vocal, day and night.

    Reply
  50. Words are so wonderful.
    I read a few of Jeffery Farnol’s books as a teenager (quite a few years ago. His books are full of the “cant” of the English period in which they were written.
    We have a “Banty” rooster….very vocal, day and night.

    Reply
  51. Pat I also think one needs to be wary about etymological dictionaries, because they date words by the earliest reference *found in print* yet many words are in the spoken language long before they end up in print. And many writers and printers refused to use common expressions from the vulgar tongue, which further skews the date.
    In my first book I had a debate with my editor about the use of the word mesmerised. The dictionary said it wasn’t used until after the date my book was set. But my book was set years after Mesmer’s death, and long after he came to fame. It seemed most unlikely to me that a word originating his name would suddenly spring to life years after his death.
    I did change it, though, because it was my first book. 😉
    And as for “off guard” — a fencing bout commences with “on guard” (ok it’s usually said in French) so to be caught off guard follows logically from that, IMO.
    Moreover soldiers have been set to guard things for centuries. If someone is caught off guard, it seems a logical statement to me, and therefore not a term linked intrinsically to, or originating with football.

    Reply
  52. Pat I also think one needs to be wary about etymological dictionaries, because they date words by the earliest reference *found in print* yet many words are in the spoken language long before they end up in print. And many writers and printers refused to use common expressions from the vulgar tongue, which further skews the date.
    In my first book I had a debate with my editor about the use of the word mesmerised. The dictionary said it wasn’t used until after the date my book was set. But my book was set years after Mesmer’s death, and long after he came to fame. It seemed most unlikely to me that a word originating his name would suddenly spring to life years after his death.
    I did change it, though, because it was my first book. 😉
    And as for “off guard” — a fencing bout commences with “on guard” (ok it’s usually said in French) so to be caught off guard follows logically from that, IMO.
    Moreover soldiers have been set to guard things for centuries. If someone is caught off guard, it seems a logical statement to me, and therefore not a term linked intrinsically to, or originating with football.

    Reply
  53. Pat I also think one needs to be wary about etymological dictionaries, because they date words by the earliest reference *found in print* yet many words are in the spoken language long before they end up in print. And many writers and printers refused to use common expressions from the vulgar tongue, which further skews the date.
    In my first book I had a debate with my editor about the use of the word mesmerised. The dictionary said it wasn’t used until after the date my book was set. But my book was set years after Mesmer’s death, and long after he came to fame. It seemed most unlikely to me that a word originating his name would suddenly spring to life years after his death.
    I did change it, though, because it was my first book. 😉
    And as for “off guard” — a fencing bout commences with “on guard” (ok it’s usually said in French) so to be caught off guard follows logically from that, IMO.
    Moreover soldiers have been set to guard things for centuries. If someone is caught off guard, it seems a logical statement to me, and therefore not a term linked intrinsically to, or originating with football.

    Reply
  54. Pat I also think one needs to be wary about etymological dictionaries, because they date words by the earliest reference *found in print* yet many words are in the spoken language long before they end up in print. And many writers and printers refused to use common expressions from the vulgar tongue, which further skews the date.
    In my first book I had a debate with my editor about the use of the word mesmerised. The dictionary said it wasn’t used until after the date my book was set. But my book was set years after Mesmer’s death, and long after he came to fame. It seemed most unlikely to me that a word originating his name would suddenly spring to life years after his death.
    I did change it, though, because it was my first book. 😉
    And as for “off guard” — a fencing bout commences with “on guard” (ok it’s usually said in French) so to be caught off guard follows logically from that, IMO.
    Moreover soldiers have been set to guard things for centuries. If someone is caught off guard, it seems a logical statement to me, and therefore not a term linked intrinsically to, or originating with football.

    Reply
  55. Pat I also think one needs to be wary about etymological dictionaries, because they date words by the earliest reference *found in print* yet many words are in the spoken language long before they end up in print. And many writers and printers refused to use common expressions from the vulgar tongue, which further skews the date.
    In my first book I had a debate with my editor about the use of the word mesmerised. The dictionary said it wasn’t used until after the date my book was set. But my book was set years after Mesmer’s death, and long after he came to fame. It seemed most unlikely to me that a word originating his name would suddenly spring to life years after his death.
    I did change it, though, because it was my first book. 😉
    And as for “off guard” — a fencing bout commences with “on guard” (ok it’s usually said in French) so to be caught off guard follows logically from that, IMO.
    Moreover soldiers have been set to guard things for centuries. If someone is caught off guard, it seems a logical statement to me, and therefore not a term linked intrinsically to, or originating with football.

    Reply
  56. Christine, how great to “see” you here! And yes, “nice” is one of those words I was desperately attempting to remember, thank you. Not that I go out of my way to avoid it, but it’s best not to go overboard.
    And thank you for the banty hen hymn, Anne. “G” I wonder if I can persuade my copyeditor that off guard is French for the opposite of en garde? I like it!

    Reply
  57. Christine, how great to “see” you here! And yes, “nice” is one of those words I was desperately attempting to remember, thank you. Not that I go out of my way to avoid it, but it’s best not to go overboard.
    And thank you for the banty hen hymn, Anne. “G” I wonder if I can persuade my copyeditor that off guard is French for the opposite of en garde? I like it!

    Reply
  58. Christine, how great to “see” you here! And yes, “nice” is one of those words I was desperately attempting to remember, thank you. Not that I go out of my way to avoid it, but it’s best not to go overboard.
    And thank you for the banty hen hymn, Anne. “G” I wonder if I can persuade my copyeditor that off guard is French for the opposite of en garde? I like it!

    Reply
  59. Christine, how great to “see” you here! And yes, “nice” is one of those words I was desperately attempting to remember, thank you. Not that I go out of my way to avoid it, but it’s best not to go overboard.
    And thank you for the banty hen hymn, Anne. “G” I wonder if I can persuade my copyeditor that off guard is French for the opposite of en garde? I like it!

    Reply
  60. Christine, how great to “see” you here! And yes, “nice” is one of those words I was desperately attempting to remember, thank you. Not that I go out of my way to avoid it, but it’s best not to go overboard.
    And thank you for the banty hen hymn, Anne. “G” I wonder if I can persuade my copyeditor that off guard is French for the opposite of en garde? I like it!

    Reply
  61. As a reader I draw a distinction between whether the word is used in narrative (which is the modern author speaking) or dialog (spoken or inner – which is the character speaking).
    For instance, if in a regency the narrative said ‘they had sex’, I’m okay with that. I’ve gotten used to it and I put it down to an author tryng to make it clear to a modern reader exactly what happened. If, however, a character says ‘I had sex with him/her’, I’m liable to consider it a stupid dumbed down groaner, because a regency era person wouldn’t have phrased it that way (if they admitted that at all 🙂
    It definitely yanks me out of the story when a character uses expressions that a person of that era would not have known, or used.
    Personally I like ‘gaol’ better than ‘jail’ because it’s a little reminder as I read that I am not reading about America in 2009. But if you want to use ‘jail’ as an alternate spelling, I can’t say it’s really wrong.
    Words that have changed? Fanny – now a term for vagina in the UK, yet how many books have we read where ‘Lady Fanny’ was the heroine? Goodness me 😉

    Reply
  62. As a reader I draw a distinction between whether the word is used in narrative (which is the modern author speaking) or dialog (spoken or inner – which is the character speaking).
    For instance, if in a regency the narrative said ‘they had sex’, I’m okay with that. I’ve gotten used to it and I put it down to an author tryng to make it clear to a modern reader exactly what happened. If, however, a character says ‘I had sex with him/her’, I’m liable to consider it a stupid dumbed down groaner, because a regency era person wouldn’t have phrased it that way (if they admitted that at all 🙂
    It definitely yanks me out of the story when a character uses expressions that a person of that era would not have known, or used.
    Personally I like ‘gaol’ better than ‘jail’ because it’s a little reminder as I read that I am not reading about America in 2009. But if you want to use ‘jail’ as an alternate spelling, I can’t say it’s really wrong.
    Words that have changed? Fanny – now a term for vagina in the UK, yet how many books have we read where ‘Lady Fanny’ was the heroine? Goodness me 😉

    Reply
  63. As a reader I draw a distinction between whether the word is used in narrative (which is the modern author speaking) or dialog (spoken or inner – which is the character speaking).
    For instance, if in a regency the narrative said ‘they had sex’, I’m okay with that. I’ve gotten used to it and I put it down to an author tryng to make it clear to a modern reader exactly what happened. If, however, a character says ‘I had sex with him/her’, I’m liable to consider it a stupid dumbed down groaner, because a regency era person wouldn’t have phrased it that way (if they admitted that at all 🙂
    It definitely yanks me out of the story when a character uses expressions that a person of that era would not have known, or used.
    Personally I like ‘gaol’ better than ‘jail’ because it’s a little reminder as I read that I am not reading about America in 2009. But if you want to use ‘jail’ as an alternate spelling, I can’t say it’s really wrong.
    Words that have changed? Fanny – now a term for vagina in the UK, yet how many books have we read where ‘Lady Fanny’ was the heroine? Goodness me 😉

    Reply
  64. As a reader I draw a distinction between whether the word is used in narrative (which is the modern author speaking) or dialog (spoken or inner – which is the character speaking).
    For instance, if in a regency the narrative said ‘they had sex’, I’m okay with that. I’ve gotten used to it and I put it down to an author tryng to make it clear to a modern reader exactly what happened. If, however, a character says ‘I had sex with him/her’, I’m liable to consider it a stupid dumbed down groaner, because a regency era person wouldn’t have phrased it that way (if they admitted that at all 🙂
    It definitely yanks me out of the story when a character uses expressions that a person of that era would not have known, or used.
    Personally I like ‘gaol’ better than ‘jail’ because it’s a little reminder as I read that I am not reading about America in 2009. But if you want to use ‘jail’ as an alternate spelling, I can’t say it’s really wrong.
    Words that have changed? Fanny – now a term for vagina in the UK, yet how many books have we read where ‘Lady Fanny’ was the heroine? Goodness me 😉

    Reply
  65. As a reader I draw a distinction between whether the word is used in narrative (which is the modern author speaking) or dialog (spoken or inner – which is the character speaking).
    For instance, if in a regency the narrative said ‘they had sex’, I’m okay with that. I’ve gotten used to it and I put it down to an author tryng to make it clear to a modern reader exactly what happened. If, however, a character says ‘I had sex with him/her’, I’m liable to consider it a stupid dumbed down groaner, because a regency era person wouldn’t have phrased it that way (if they admitted that at all 🙂
    It definitely yanks me out of the story when a character uses expressions that a person of that era would not have known, or used.
    Personally I like ‘gaol’ better than ‘jail’ because it’s a little reminder as I read that I am not reading about America in 2009. But if you want to use ‘jail’ as an alternate spelling, I can’t say it’s really wrong.
    Words that have changed? Fanny – now a term for vagina in the UK, yet how many books have we read where ‘Lady Fanny’ was the heroine? Goodness me 😉

    Reply
  66. Forgot to add – couldn’t ‘off guard’ be a fencing expression? What do you say before you’re ‘en garde’? 🙂

    Reply
  67. Forgot to add – couldn’t ‘off guard’ be a fencing expression? What do you say before you’re ‘en garde’? 🙂

    Reply
  68. Forgot to add – couldn’t ‘off guard’ be a fencing expression? What do you say before you’re ‘en garde’? 🙂

    Reply
  69. Forgot to add – couldn’t ‘off guard’ be a fencing expression? What do you say before you’re ‘en garde’? 🙂

    Reply
  70. Forgot to add – couldn’t ‘off guard’ be a fencing expression? What do you say before you’re ‘en garde’? 🙂

    Reply
  71. A great post, Pat!
    Words and when they came into use is a fascinating topics, not to speak of the change in meanings over the years. I always try to be accurate, but I thinks it’s hard to pin down exact dates for usage. It seems likely that words would be used in common speech for some time before they get recorded in dictionaries. So I always get a little huffy when someone criticizes an author for using a term in a book set in 1810 by saying “No, no, that word wasn’t used until 1814.”
    As for cadence and structure, you are so right that speech patterns and diction varies with every era. I definitely write Regency books very differently than I would modern books. And I find it pulls me out of a story if the tone doesn’t fit the era (or at least my concept of the era.)
    BTW, your regency sentence is perfect, IMO!

    Reply
  72. A great post, Pat!
    Words and when they came into use is a fascinating topics, not to speak of the change in meanings over the years. I always try to be accurate, but I thinks it’s hard to pin down exact dates for usage. It seems likely that words would be used in common speech for some time before they get recorded in dictionaries. So I always get a little huffy when someone criticizes an author for using a term in a book set in 1810 by saying “No, no, that word wasn’t used until 1814.”
    As for cadence and structure, you are so right that speech patterns and diction varies with every era. I definitely write Regency books very differently than I would modern books. And I find it pulls me out of a story if the tone doesn’t fit the era (or at least my concept of the era.)
    BTW, your regency sentence is perfect, IMO!

    Reply
  73. A great post, Pat!
    Words and when they came into use is a fascinating topics, not to speak of the change in meanings over the years. I always try to be accurate, but I thinks it’s hard to pin down exact dates for usage. It seems likely that words would be used in common speech for some time before they get recorded in dictionaries. So I always get a little huffy when someone criticizes an author for using a term in a book set in 1810 by saying “No, no, that word wasn’t used until 1814.”
    As for cadence and structure, you are so right that speech patterns and diction varies with every era. I definitely write Regency books very differently than I would modern books. And I find it pulls me out of a story if the tone doesn’t fit the era (or at least my concept of the era.)
    BTW, your regency sentence is perfect, IMO!

    Reply
  74. A great post, Pat!
    Words and when they came into use is a fascinating topics, not to speak of the change in meanings over the years. I always try to be accurate, but I thinks it’s hard to pin down exact dates for usage. It seems likely that words would be used in common speech for some time before they get recorded in dictionaries. So I always get a little huffy when someone criticizes an author for using a term in a book set in 1810 by saying “No, no, that word wasn’t used until 1814.”
    As for cadence and structure, you are so right that speech patterns and diction varies with every era. I definitely write Regency books very differently than I would modern books. And I find it pulls me out of a story if the tone doesn’t fit the era (or at least my concept of the era.)
    BTW, your regency sentence is perfect, IMO!

    Reply
  75. A great post, Pat!
    Words and when they came into use is a fascinating topics, not to speak of the change in meanings over the years. I always try to be accurate, but I thinks it’s hard to pin down exact dates for usage. It seems likely that words would be used in common speech for some time before they get recorded in dictionaries. So I always get a little huffy when someone criticizes an author for using a term in a book set in 1810 by saying “No, no, that word wasn’t used until 1814.”
    As for cadence and structure, you are so right that speech patterns and diction varies with every era. I definitely write Regency books very differently than I would modern books. And I find it pulls me out of a story if the tone doesn’t fit the era (or at least my concept of the era.)
    BTW, your regency sentence is perfect, IMO!

    Reply
  76. Janice, it’s good to know some readers can differentiate between author and character POV, but I’m not entirely certain all readers can or even want to. But I tend to write from character POV more than author, so it’s probably best if I avoid modern terminology where possible. Your mileage might vary.
    And just for the heck of it, I did a very quick scan of fencing terms and there are tons of “guard” positions, but I didn’t come across one that meant off guard. Heaven forbid that a man wearing a sword should be caught off guard!
    Thank you, Andrea, I bow before a master. Or is that mistress?

    Reply
  77. Janice, it’s good to know some readers can differentiate between author and character POV, but I’m not entirely certain all readers can or even want to. But I tend to write from character POV more than author, so it’s probably best if I avoid modern terminology where possible. Your mileage might vary.
    And just for the heck of it, I did a very quick scan of fencing terms and there are tons of “guard” positions, but I didn’t come across one that meant off guard. Heaven forbid that a man wearing a sword should be caught off guard!
    Thank you, Andrea, I bow before a master. Or is that mistress?

    Reply
  78. Janice, it’s good to know some readers can differentiate between author and character POV, but I’m not entirely certain all readers can or even want to. But I tend to write from character POV more than author, so it’s probably best if I avoid modern terminology where possible. Your mileage might vary.
    And just for the heck of it, I did a very quick scan of fencing terms and there are tons of “guard” positions, but I didn’t come across one that meant off guard. Heaven forbid that a man wearing a sword should be caught off guard!
    Thank you, Andrea, I bow before a master. Or is that mistress?

    Reply
  79. Janice, it’s good to know some readers can differentiate between author and character POV, but I’m not entirely certain all readers can or even want to. But I tend to write from character POV more than author, so it’s probably best if I avoid modern terminology where possible. Your mileage might vary.
    And just for the heck of it, I did a very quick scan of fencing terms and there are tons of “guard” positions, but I didn’t come across one that meant off guard. Heaven forbid that a man wearing a sword should be caught off guard!
    Thank you, Andrea, I bow before a master. Or is that mistress?

    Reply
  80. Janice, it’s good to know some readers can differentiate between author and character POV, but I’m not entirely certain all readers can or even want to. But I tend to write from character POV more than author, so it’s probably best if I avoid modern terminology where possible. Your mileage might vary.
    And just for the heck of it, I did a very quick scan of fencing terms and there are tons of “guard” positions, but I didn’t come across one that meant off guard. Heaven forbid that a man wearing a sword should be caught off guard!
    Thank you, Andrea, I bow before a master. Or is that mistress?

    Reply
  81. Have you ever had words pulled out by the editor? Conversely, have you had words changed? I’m thinking of Janice’s comment about the hero saying he had sex with the heroine. That sentence sounds like something an editor or writer unfamiliar with the era would use. Or, as Janice says, is it a dumbed-down groaner catering to the modern market?

    Reply
  82. Have you ever had words pulled out by the editor? Conversely, have you had words changed? I’m thinking of Janice’s comment about the hero saying he had sex with the heroine. That sentence sounds like something an editor or writer unfamiliar with the era would use. Or, as Janice says, is it a dumbed-down groaner catering to the modern market?

    Reply
  83. Have you ever had words pulled out by the editor? Conversely, have you had words changed? I’m thinking of Janice’s comment about the hero saying he had sex with the heroine. That sentence sounds like something an editor or writer unfamiliar with the era would use. Or, as Janice says, is it a dumbed-down groaner catering to the modern market?

    Reply
  84. Have you ever had words pulled out by the editor? Conversely, have you had words changed? I’m thinking of Janice’s comment about the hero saying he had sex with the heroine. That sentence sounds like something an editor or writer unfamiliar with the era would use. Or, as Janice says, is it a dumbed-down groaner catering to the modern market?

    Reply
  85. Have you ever had words pulled out by the editor? Conversely, have you had words changed? I’m thinking of Janice’s comment about the hero saying he had sex with the heroine. That sentence sounds like something an editor or writer unfamiliar with the era would use. Or, as Janice says, is it a dumbed-down groaner catering to the modern market?

    Reply
  86. Last night I went to a book talk and signing by Sharon Kay Penman. (I was not cheating on my beloved WordWenches). Much of her discussion and her blog was on historical accuracy. But what if boiled down to was writers should be “true” to the period, but of course not exact or we would be reading about Henry and Eleanor in Medieval Norman French. One word she did point out, I found totally unexpected. She can’t use “nice”. It used to mean the opposite. She said adolescent was used then, but would sound so jarring to her readers, she also didn’t use it.
    In terms of handling language shifts, I have the most challenging job. I am the mother of a 21st century teen girl. Good, bad, cool, hot change weekly. I can’t even imaging trying to write to please them.
    I love the way you all handle dialogue. I was reading some of Wellington’s dispatches. The way he used language is perfectly caught by your novels.
    The only thing that really bugs me is when a character’s name is wrong. I was reading a lovely novel (but not one or yours or Penman’s) and all of a sudden Lady A was refered to a Lady B. I had to go back and reread an entire chapter to realize it was just a typo.
    Please keep writing in you style. The mix of semi-modern narrative and lovely flowery period dialogue is just perfect.

    Reply
  87. Last night I went to a book talk and signing by Sharon Kay Penman. (I was not cheating on my beloved WordWenches). Much of her discussion and her blog was on historical accuracy. But what if boiled down to was writers should be “true” to the period, but of course not exact or we would be reading about Henry and Eleanor in Medieval Norman French. One word she did point out, I found totally unexpected. She can’t use “nice”. It used to mean the opposite. She said adolescent was used then, but would sound so jarring to her readers, she also didn’t use it.
    In terms of handling language shifts, I have the most challenging job. I am the mother of a 21st century teen girl. Good, bad, cool, hot change weekly. I can’t even imaging trying to write to please them.
    I love the way you all handle dialogue. I was reading some of Wellington’s dispatches. The way he used language is perfectly caught by your novels.
    The only thing that really bugs me is when a character’s name is wrong. I was reading a lovely novel (but not one or yours or Penman’s) and all of a sudden Lady A was refered to a Lady B. I had to go back and reread an entire chapter to realize it was just a typo.
    Please keep writing in you style. The mix of semi-modern narrative and lovely flowery period dialogue is just perfect.

    Reply
  88. Last night I went to a book talk and signing by Sharon Kay Penman. (I was not cheating on my beloved WordWenches). Much of her discussion and her blog was on historical accuracy. But what if boiled down to was writers should be “true” to the period, but of course not exact or we would be reading about Henry and Eleanor in Medieval Norman French. One word she did point out, I found totally unexpected. She can’t use “nice”. It used to mean the opposite. She said adolescent was used then, but would sound so jarring to her readers, she also didn’t use it.
    In terms of handling language shifts, I have the most challenging job. I am the mother of a 21st century teen girl. Good, bad, cool, hot change weekly. I can’t even imaging trying to write to please them.
    I love the way you all handle dialogue. I was reading some of Wellington’s dispatches. The way he used language is perfectly caught by your novels.
    The only thing that really bugs me is when a character’s name is wrong. I was reading a lovely novel (but not one or yours or Penman’s) and all of a sudden Lady A was refered to a Lady B. I had to go back and reread an entire chapter to realize it was just a typo.
    Please keep writing in you style. The mix of semi-modern narrative and lovely flowery period dialogue is just perfect.

    Reply
  89. Last night I went to a book talk and signing by Sharon Kay Penman. (I was not cheating on my beloved WordWenches). Much of her discussion and her blog was on historical accuracy. But what if boiled down to was writers should be “true” to the period, but of course not exact or we would be reading about Henry and Eleanor in Medieval Norman French. One word she did point out, I found totally unexpected. She can’t use “nice”. It used to mean the opposite. She said adolescent was used then, but would sound so jarring to her readers, she also didn’t use it.
    In terms of handling language shifts, I have the most challenging job. I am the mother of a 21st century teen girl. Good, bad, cool, hot change weekly. I can’t even imaging trying to write to please them.
    I love the way you all handle dialogue. I was reading some of Wellington’s dispatches. The way he used language is perfectly caught by your novels.
    The only thing that really bugs me is when a character’s name is wrong. I was reading a lovely novel (but not one or yours or Penman’s) and all of a sudden Lady A was refered to a Lady B. I had to go back and reread an entire chapter to realize it was just a typo.
    Please keep writing in you style. The mix of semi-modern narrative and lovely flowery period dialogue is just perfect.

    Reply
  90. Last night I went to a book talk and signing by Sharon Kay Penman. (I was not cheating on my beloved WordWenches). Much of her discussion and her blog was on historical accuracy. But what if boiled down to was writers should be “true” to the period, but of course not exact or we would be reading about Henry and Eleanor in Medieval Norman French. One word she did point out, I found totally unexpected. She can’t use “nice”. It used to mean the opposite. She said adolescent was used then, but would sound so jarring to her readers, she also didn’t use it.
    In terms of handling language shifts, I have the most challenging job. I am the mother of a 21st century teen girl. Good, bad, cool, hot change weekly. I can’t even imaging trying to write to please them.
    I love the way you all handle dialogue. I was reading some of Wellington’s dispatches. The way he used language is perfectly caught by your novels.
    The only thing that really bugs me is when a character’s name is wrong. I was reading a lovely novel (but not one or yours or Penman’s) and all of a sudden Lady A was refered to a Lady B. I had to go back and reread an entire chapter to realize it was just a typo.
    Please keep writing in you style. The mix of semi-modern narrative and lovely flowery period dialogue is just perfect.

    Reply
  91. Argh, my own typo in the last paragraph. It should be your style. Sorry. I should have proofed better. My bad in the current venacular.

    Reply
  92. Argh, my own typo in the last paragraph. It should be your style. Sorry. I should have proofed better. My bad in the current venacular.

    Reply
  93. Argh, my own typo in the last paragraph. It should be your style. Sorry. I should have proofed better. My bad in the current venacular.

    Reply
  94. Argh, my own typo in the last paragraph. It should be your style. Sorry. I should have proofed better. My bad in the current venacular.

    Reply
  95. Argh, my own typo in the last paragraph. It should be your style. Sorry. I should have proofed better. My bad in the current venacular.

    Reply
  96. Okay, I just stumbled across this one and let me throw it out there–“Lady A was like a praying mantis and would probably bite the head off her mate after…” Sex? Could a Regency writer get away with using sex in that manner? “Buggy frigging” is probably out. “G”
    Thanks for the insights, Lyn! I agree that we can’t be exact or we’d need to add a translation dictionary appendix. I’m not sure about “adolescent” though. “Youth” isn’t quite specific enough, and “teenager” is definitely out. Modern readers are aware of differences between teenagers and children even if Regency people weren’t, so somehow, we’ve got to make that differentiation if we box ourselves into that corner.
    And yes, Linda, I’ve had words changed by editors. Frequently. Painfully. And not because they recognized mine were wrong but because they liked theirs better. So, yes, it’s quite possible some editor or copyeditor changed the word to “sex” to “simplify” a sentence.
    Of course, there’s always the editor who thought my contemporary hero shouldn’t be driving a yellow Lamborghini because it wasn’t a manly color…
    Historicals aren’t the only things difficult to translate into an editor’s view of life.

    Reply
  97. Okay, I just stumbled across this one and let me throw it out there–“Lady A was like a praying mantis and would probably bite the head off her mate after…” Sex? Could a Regency writer get away with using sex in that manner? “Buggy frigging” is probably out. “G”
    Thanks for the insights, Lyn! I agree that we can’t be exact or we’d need to add a translation dictionary appendix. I’m not sure about “adolescent” though. “Youth” isn’t quite specific enough, and “teenager” is definitely out. Modern readers are aware of differences between teenagers and children even if Regency people weren’t, so somehow, we’ve got to make that differentiation if we box ourselves into that corner.
    And yes, Linda, I’ve had words changed by editors. Frequently. Painfully. And not because they recognized mine were wrong but because they liked theirs better. So, yes, it’s quite possible some editor or copyeditor changed the word to “sex” to “simplify” a sentence.
    Of course, there’s always the editor who thought my contemporary hero shouldn’t be driving a yellow Lamborghini because it wasn’t a manly color…
    Historicals aren’t the only things difficult to translate into an editor’s view of life.

    Reply
  98. Okay, I just stumbled across this one and let me throw it out there–“Lady A was like a praying mantis and would probably bite the head off her mate after…” Sex? Could a Regency writer get away with using sex in that manner? “Buggy frigging” is probably out. “G”
    Thanks for the insights, Lyn! I agree that we can’t be exact or we’d need to add a translation dictionary appendix. I’m not sure about “adolescent” though. “Youth” isn’t quite specific enough, and “teenager” is definitely out. Modern readers are aware of differences between teenagers and children even if Regency people weren’t, so somehow, we’ve got to make that differentiation if we box ourselves into that corner.
    And yes, Linda, I’ve had words changed by editors. Frequently. Painfully. And not because they recognized mine were wrong but because they liked theirs better. So, yes, it’s quite possible some editor or copyeditor changed the word to “sex” to “simplify” a sentence.
    Of course, there’s always the editor who thought my contemporary hero shouldn’t be driving a yellow Lamborghini because it wasn’t a manly color…
    Historicals aren’t the only things difficult to translate into an editor’s view of life.

    Reply
  99. Okay, I just stumbled across this one and let me throw it out there–“Lady A was like a praying mantis and would probably bite the head off her mate after…” Sex? Could a Regency writer get away with using sex in that manner? “Buggy frigging” is probably out. “G”
    Thanks for the insights, Lyn! I agree that we can’t be exact or we’d need to add a translation dictionary appendix. I’m not sure about “adolescent” though. “Youth” isn’t quite specific enough, and “teenager” is definitely out. Modern readers are aware of differences between teenagers and children even if Regency people weren’t, so somehow, we’ve got to make that differentiation if we box ourselves into that corner.
    And yes, Linda, I’ve had words changed by editors. Frequently. Painfully. And not because they recognized mine were wrong but because they liked theirs better. So, yes, it’s quite possible some editor or copyeditor changed the word to “sex” to “simplify” a sentence.
    Of course, there’s always the editor who thought my contemporary hero shouldn’t be driving a yellow Lamborghini because it wasn’t a manly color…
    Historicals aren’t the only things difficult to translate into an editor’s view of life.

    Reply
  100. Okay, I just stumbled across this one and let me throw it out there–“Lady A was like a praying mantis and would probably bite the head off her mate after…” Sex? Could a Regency writer get away with using sex in that manner? “Buggy frigging” is probably out. “G”
    Thanks for the insights, Lyn! I agree that we can’t be exact or we’d need to add a translation dictionary appendix. I’m not sure about “adolescent” though. “Youth” isn’t quite specific enough, and “teenager” is definitely out. Modern readers are aware of differences between teenagers and children even if Regency people weren’t, so somehow, we’ve got to make that differentiation if we box ourselves into that corner.
    And yes, Linda, I’ve had words changed by editors. Frequently. Painfully. And not because they recognized mine were wrong but because they liked theirs better. So, yes, it’s quite possible some editor or copyeditor changed the word to “sex” to “simplify” a sentence.
    Of course, there’s always the editor who thought my contemporary hero shouldn’t be driving a yellow Lamborghini because it wasn’t a manly color…
    Historicals aren’t the only things difficult to translate into an editor’s view of life.

    Reply
  101. That’s funny, Pat. I hope you told your editor that if a guy is driving a Lamborghini (and doing it well), it doesn’t matter what color it is 🙂
    Well, except for pink, maybe 😉
    How much should an editor butt heads with your muse? What sort of changes are you all OK with vs. what sort are ‘scorched earth’ for you?

    Reply
  102. That’s funny, Pat. I hope you told your editor that if a guy is driving a Lamborghini (and doing it well), it doesn’t matter what color it is 🙂
    Well, except for pink, maybe 😉
    How much should an editor butt heads with your muse? What sort of changes are you all OK with vs. what sort are ‘scorched earth’ for you?

    Reply
  103. That’s funny, Pat. I hope you told your editor that if a guy is driving a Lamborghini (and doing it well), it doesn’t matter what color it is 🙂
    Well, except for pink, maybe 😉
    How much should an editor butt heads with your muse? What sort of changes are you all OK with vs. what sort are ‘scorched earth’ for you?

    Reply
  104. That’s funny, Pat. I hope you told your editor that if a guy is driving a Lamborghini (and doing it well), it doesn’t matter what color it is 🙂
    Well, except for pink, maybe 😉
    How much should an editor butt heads with your muse? What sort of changes are you all OK with vs. what sort are ‘scorched earth’ for you?

    Reply
  105. That’s funny, Pat. I hope you told your editor that if a guy is driving a Lamborghini (and doing it well), it doesn’t matter what color it is 🙂
    Well, except for pink, maybe 😉
    How much should an editor butt heads with your muse? What sort of changes are you all OK with vs. what sort are ‘scorched earth’ for you?

    Reply
  106. As a transplanted Brit, I will discard a book set in the British Isles with americanisms. Stoop is actually one of the examples! I had never heard the term until I came over here. Also a porch is a covered entrance into a house. Houses in England would never have them as we know them over here. Liquor when the English say Spirits, the use of “lawyer” for both solicitor and barrister and I hate “gotten” appearing in a text too.
    One thing that always makes me laugh is how often the characters strip off and dive into a lake. Go and live in England for a year and see how often you are tempted to do that! Most stately homes with lakes are full of reeds and other plants and are very unappealing. It does make for a good varaiation on a “tupping” location though.
    As for Regencyisms, Georgette Heyer’s books are still selling like hot cakes today and her books are full of puzzling words. I think most readers get the meaning or go and look it up! After reading the posts, I have come to the conclusion that editors must not be readers; i.e. reading books for pleasure.

    Reply
  107. As a transplanted Brit, I will discard a book set in the British Isles with americanisms. Stoop is actually one of the examples! I had never heard the term until I came over here. Also a porch is a covered entrance into a house. Houses in England would never have them as we know them over here. Liquor when the English say Spirits, the use of “lawyer” for both solicitor and barrister and I hate “gotten” appearing in a text too.
    One thing that always makes me laugh is how often the characters strip off and dive into a lake. Go and live in England for a year and see how often you are tempted to do that! Most stately homes with lakes are full of reeds and other plants and are very unappealing. It does make for a good varaiation on a “tupping” location though.
    As for Regencyisms, Georgette Heyer’s books are still selling like hot cakes today and her books are full of puzzling words. I think most readers get the meaning or go and look it up! After reading the posts, I have come to the conclusion that editors must not be readers; i.e. reading books for pleasure.

    Reply
  108. As a transplanted Brit, I will discard a book set in the British Isles with americanisms. Stoop is actually one of the examples! I had never heard the term until I came over here. Also a porch is a covered entrance into a house. Houses in England would never have them as we know them over here. Liquor when the English say Spirits, the use of “lawyer” for both solicitor and barrister and I hate “gotten” appearing in a text too.
    One thing that always makes me laugh is how often the characters strip off and dive into a lake. Go and live in England for a year and see how often you are tempted to do that! Most stately homes with lakes are full of reeds and other plants and are very unappealing. It does make for a good varaiation on a “tupping” location though.
    As for Regencyisms, Georgette Heyer’s books are still selling like hot cakes today and her books are full of puzzling words. I think most readers get the meaning or go and look it up! After reading the posts, I have come to the conclusion that editors must not be readers; i.e. reading books for pleasure.

    Reply
  109. As a transplanted Brit, I will discard a book set in the British Isles with americanisms. Stoop is actually one of the examples! I had never heard the term until I came over here. Also a porch is a covered entrance into a house. Houses in England would never have them as we know them over here. Liquor when the English say Spirits, the use of “lawyer” for both solicitor and barrister and I hate “gotten” appearing in a text too.
    One thing that always makes me laugh is how often the characters strip off and dive into a lake. Go and live in England for a year and see how often you are tempted to do that! Most stately homes with lakes are full of reeds and other plants and are very unappealing. It does make for a good varaiation on a “tupping” location though.
    As for Regencyisms, Georgette Heyer’s books are still selling like hot cakes today and her books are full of puzzling words. I think most readers get the meaning or go and look it up! After reading the posts, I have come to the conclusion that editors must not be readers; i.e. reading books for pleasure.

    Reply
  110. As a transplanted Brit, I will discard a book set in the British Isles with americanisms. Stoop is actually one of the examples! I had never heard the term until I came over here. Also a porch is a covered entrance into a house. Houses in England would never have them as we know them over here. Liquor when the English say Spirits, the use of “lawyer” for both solicitor and barrister and I hate “gotten” appearing in a text too.
    One thing that always makes me laugh is how often the characters strip off and dive into a lake. Go and live in England for a year and see how often you are tempted to do that! Most stately homes with lakes are full of reeds and other plants and are very unappealing. It does make for a good varaiation on a “tupping” location though.
    As for Regencyisms, Georgette Heyer’s books are still selling like hot cakes today and her books are full of puzzling words. I think most readers get the meaning or go and look it up! After reading the posts, I have come to the conclusion that editors must not be readers; i.e. reading books for pleasure.

    Reply
  111. Janice, difficult question! I think we can get a blog out of that someday if you want to forward it to Sherrie. You really don’t want to see me in a snit over an editor or copyeditor’s mangling!
    Sue, I hadn’t thought about houses not having “porches” in England, although of course, our heroes all have porticos. “G” And yeah, I do smile at those movie scenes where they’re happily splashing around in the pond. I don’t think there are many American ponds I’d splash in!

    Reply
  112. Janice, difficult question! I think we can get a blog out of that someday if you want to forward it to Sherrie. You really don’t want to see me in a snit over an editor or copyeditor’s mangling!
    Sue, I hadn’t thought about houses not having “porches” in England, although of course, our heroes all have porticos. “G” And yeah, I do smile at those movie scenes where they’re happily splashing around in the pond. I don’t think there are many American ponds I’d splash in!

    Reply
  113. Janice, difficult question! I think we can get a blog out of that someday if you want to forward it to Sherrie. You really don’t want to see me in a snit over an editor or copyeditor’s mangling!
    Sue, I hadn’t thought about houses not having “porches” in England, although of course, our heroes all have porticos. “G” And yeah, I do smile at those movie scenes where they’re happily splashing around in the pond. I don’t think there are many American ponds I’d splash in!

    Reply
  114. Janice, difficult question! I think we can get a blog out of that someday if you want to forward it to Sherrie. You really don’t want to see me in a snit over an editor or copyeditor’s mangling!
    Sue, I hadn’t thought about houses not having “porches” in England, although of course, our heroes all have porticos. “G” And yeah, I do smile at those movie scenes where they’re happily splashing around in the pond. I don’t think there are many American ponds I’d splash in!

    Reply
  115. Janice, difficult question! I think we can get a blog out of that someday if you want to forward it to Sherrie. You really don’t want to see me in a snit over an editor or copyeditor’s mangling!
    Sue, I hadn’t thought about houses not having “porches” in England, although of course, our heroes all have porticos. “G” And yeah, I do smile at those movie scenes where they’re happily splashing around in the pond. I don’t think there are many American ponds I’d splash in!

    Reply
  116. The most impressive and beautiful car made by man, a dream machine, carrying the plant, glamor, style. I have to say no more the bat is the best of best, up the Italian engineering ..!

    Reply
  117. The most impressive and beautiful car made by man, a dream machine, carrying the plant, glamor, style. I have to say no more the bat is the best of best, up the Italian engineering ..!

    Reply
  118. The most impressive and beautiful car made by man, a dream machine, carrying the plant, glamor, style. I have to say no more the bat is the best of best, up the Italian engineering ..!

    Reply
  119. The most impressive and beautiful car made by man, a dream machine, carrying the plant, glamor, style. I have to say no more the bat is the best of best, up the Italian engineering ..!

    Reply
  120. The most impressive and beautiful car made by man, a dream machine, carrying the plant, glamor, style. I have to say no more the bat is the best of best, up the Italian engineering ..!

    Reply

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