Long time has gone by and there's been too little good blogging from my end. But here's something, now! Here's just a few thoughts on an issue that I really don't want to put much thought into.
I wish to state emphatically one thing: Until I have an editor to tell me otherwise, my stories currently use, and shall use in the future, the official spelling standard called Weird Mutated Foreign Spelling.
It may be weird that a writer of any caliber says that spelling guides are worthless, but it's happening, right here, right now. I'm saying that I'm not opening a style guide until someone specifically tells me to open a style guide.
People who have looked at my text don't think I've been consistently using American or British spelling and punctuation conventions. And they would be right on that account! I'm not British, I'm not American; I speak English as a second language. The popular culture tends to teach me American conventions; the parts of English that I learned in school taught mostly British conventions, with a good discussion of American conventions as well. When I was in school, I believe we discussed the differences, but I don't think anyone ever said which conventions we were supposed to prefer. And lately, I've realised that no one else gives a damn either!
Lately, I've been trying to standardise my spelling to honour the need for unnecessary vowels and discourage the excess use of the letter Z. My “punctuation”, however, has been largely of “this sort”, and I have been using “somewhat geek-friendly quotation marks”, where characters not part of the logical string literal are outside of the quotation mark. Double-quotes are used mostly because they are also used here (albeit ”slightly differently”). Dashes – useful for separating parenthetical ideas – have no set length preference in Finnish, hence I'm using en-dashes for most purposes, except—
—ah, we have found a good reason for their existence.
What I'm trying to get to this is this: I'm striving for consistency, and that's all that matters to me personally. I'm sure people don't have gigantic problems reading my stuff, if I only strive for some sort of consistent spelling and consistent punctuation use in my stories. I don't want the proponents of British and American spellings to go in a knife fight. They haven't figured out a clear winner after centuries, so I don't think they'll figure it out anytime soon. We, the Weird Mutants who use English as second language, just have to figure out some way to communicate until a miraculous level of consistency can be finally agreed upon.
I'd love to hear what other people think of this matter...
Avarthrel is a fantasy world project, originated by Urpo Lankinen.
Please chip in to Avarthrel via Flattr!