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08 January 2011 @ 04:37 pm
A case in point ...  
So, there we were, having a chat on a friend's LJ about the differences between the US and the UK for purposes of a self-Britpicking list, with participants from both sides of the pond and beyond and frequent diversions into baiting and comedy from all sides, and apparently it has become a source of Flocked Drama.

Consider the argument very carefully: At least one American is very upset that British people prefer to be depicted in accurate ways.

And if you can't see why that's a bit dodgy, replace the word British with any other nationality.

I don't want to overstate the case, because really, it doesn't culturally oppress us the way that some other cultures have been oppressed by this sort of thing, since we don't deeply care and we had an Empire first. And while the original source of the complaint is a preference, it's certainly not a sine qua non, and we read heaps of stuff that gets us wrong, and some of it is good and some is crap, and really, at the end of the day we still pronounce and spell aluminium in ways that are scientifically logical, which in itself is enough. But, honestly ...

Interestingly, one of my points of difference was a tendency to soap-opera-like over-reactions in fiction. Clearly I drew the line too narrowly.

AND I left off the fact that it the entire United States has been the subject of mass-brainwashing to accept caffeinated flavoured beverages as coffee. Though I see Starbucks has dropped the word from their logo, truth in advertising at last!
 
 
 
Meredyth: Malasadasmeredyth_13 on January 8th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
Please to be seeing my latest posts if you have a moment.

*headdesk*

blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 06:03 am (UTC)
I just saw the latest one! And will be commenting immediately I stop laughing!
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on January 8th, 2011 09:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - momebie on January 8th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on January 8th, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ecosopherecosopher on January 8th, 2011 06:05 am (UTC)
*sigh*

It's always fun and laughs until someone gets in a huff.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)
I do know not to expect rationality. It's just that I find such a lot of it around and am lulled into a false sense of security in the good sense of people and then ...

Ah well. I wonder if I should customise my layout so that if people pop by to find the expected Baby Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells they will know they are at the right place?
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on January 8th, 2011 09:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 09:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on January 8th, 2011 09:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drbunsen on January 9th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drbunsen on January 9th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meredyth_13 on January 10th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
ineffably_roma on January 8th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)
Not privy to any flocked drama.

All I saw was the original post before bed last night read through what was then 50 or so comments and backed out. After writing fanfic for five years I knew that reading any further would just set in the niggles of inadequacy. I'd just written in scones for breakfast and discovered it was a no no. *sigh* Who knew? It was the classicism statements that made me hit the back button. The person was right, I will never know or understand British classicism. How could I without ever been there to visit much less live there for a time.

We do what we can and most of us try damn hard to research this stuff. It can be very disheartening to read that no matter how hard you try your work will not be accepted because you used the word closet instead of wardrobe. And then be told that you as an author didn't care enough to research down to that level.

Then there was the HP story today filled with exaggerated Americanisms, which I thought was hilarious. I read it at work and it made me smile the rest of the day. It's American humour I guess. We make fun of ourselves with a little dig.

HP is a worldwide phenomena. If the original OP wants to help the rest of us out that would be terrific. We'll eat it up, meaning we'll be thrilled.

I haven't seen anyone say that they begrudge a Brit wanting to read fanfic portraying British people accurately. I think what you might have is a few of us saying that we're trying but we can't be perfect so give us a break or two.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 06:30 am (UTC)
It can be very disheartening to read that no matter how hard you try your work will not be accepted because you used the word closet instead of wardrobe.

I don't know of any British reader who would ever say something like this, though. I do know several who might send you a PM or comment along the lines of 'LOVED the story (PS wardrobe, not closet)', but that's because they can't help themselves, and they're the same as the ones who can't let a typo go.

This idea of accepted/not accepted is bunk (from the American bunkum, which is such a good word I use it regularly). There is no Potter Passport Control at which one is stamped. Any simple reading of any sample fest in the fandom will make that clear, as British readers fill the comments for American fics with statements of their enjoyment.

This idea does not come from British readers. It does not come from Brits who talk about the differences between the two cultures. We do not finish such discussions with a checklist on which a fic must score more than 50 to be considered readable. That is something that Americans invent in response to discussions on difference. It's a false response, for proof of which statement, go back to all those comments.

And no one expects people who do not grow up inside a culture to be perfect at representing it. Having lived mostly outside the UK for the last couple of decades, *I* have issues with some things (my pronunciation of proven is now becoming anachronistic for my age bracket, for a start). We do expect to hold onto the right to say 'Eh, that didn't feel real to me'. I fully support the right of Supernatural fandom readers to have exactly the same expectation in the opposite direction, even though it, too, is a worldwide phenomenon.
(no subject) - drbunsen on January 9th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kestrelsparhawk on January 8th, 2011 08:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kestrelsparhawk on January 8th, 2011 08:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 09:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 8th, 2011 10:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kestrelsparhawk on January 8th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 8th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Smoking - kestrelsparhawk on January 8th, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Smoking - pir8fancier on January 11th, 2011 04:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Smoking - kestrelsparhawk on January 11th, 2011 08:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Smoking - pir8fancier on January 11th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - grey_hunter on January 10th, 2011 10:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 10th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 10th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pir8fancier on January 11th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 11th, 2011 09:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pir8fancier on January 11th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 11th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
not your typical annihilatrix: ichigo eyesfuriosity on January 8th, 2011 06:56 am (UTC)
But atttempting to portray all these alien cultures accurately is so haaaaaaaaaaard. :( It's not like any place but America really matters, you know?

On a serious note, I get really annoyed when people get Russia and Hungary wrong (which is basically ALL THE TIME), so I totally sympathise with the Brits. Failing to research is not oppressive, it's just sloppy and rude.

Also, I don't get it. Have people not heard of hp_britglish? It is an extensive repository of all things Britlandian, and not at all difficult to navigate. And if one can't find the answer one is looking for, one can always ask; it's an active and rather lively comm. (No, no, I know. It's just so haaaaaaaaaaard. :()
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 07:13 am (UTC)
Oh you make me laugh ... (Also because I just remembered yesterday's freezing camouflage cat ...)

To be fair, it IS hard to write in another nation's voice, and I never expect non-natives to get any culture spot-on. I don't, even after living in Australia for yonks. And while hp_britglish and similar comms and lists are brilliant resources, I can accept that some people don't care and I'm not actually too perturbed by that, each to their own.

I do draw the line at the idea of discussing the issue of difference being some form of ghastly anti-Americanism, though.
(no subject) - furiosity on January 8th, 2011 07:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 07:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drbunsen on January 9th, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jadzialove on January 8th, 2011 11:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - furiosity on January 8th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jadzialove on January 8th, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on January 8th, 2011 07:20 am (UTC)
I saw all the posts and had good fun reading through all of them—figuring out the differences, laughing at all the crazy, nonsensical little things that set the once colony apart from its mothership :D... I intend to return to those posts whenever I forget the details and would like to learn them again.

More for RL as a kind of cultural trivia (some more trivial than others) than for the sake of fiction writing though, I confess. What I'd like to say is this: I actually find it very... error-prone to give general cultural statetments about one place, even if that place is where one calls home for his whole life. It is suspiciously likely that several doors down there would be someone whose views of what is the social-political norm and history of ... not even their country, which is much wider than the place they conduct their life, but just the neighbourhood, even—is entirely different. I used to live in a very dense, very tiny city with a highly homogeneous culture, but even there, there're still so many people who'd describe our common streets and speak and act in slangs and manners I can't completely comprehend. And back to the US vs UK thing, generalizations about the US as depicted are not necessarily fair—the East and West Coast have their own differences, mid-America, likely even more its own world (I know little about it, other than reading the news—which isn't the same as being there); so if one really wants to be picky, even an American writing for an American-based fandom can commit serious cultural faux-pas and I'm sure there's some wank somewhere happening at this moment on that topic :D. I'm sure different parts of the UK have their own culture as well.

I hesitate to generalize for that reason, and I really hesitate to call others out on those things. I am also not very keen on strict Britpick for fanfic writing if I'm time tight (which I am almost all the time) for that reason— Britpick, to me, is not so objective that it can make or break a fic—and writing about the wizarding world is not strictly the UK, so, who knows, maybe wizards DO put cream in tea, triple layers and all, which would explain the very effective lubrication spells :D. Really I find it less critical for a beginning writer like myself to get the Brit thing perfect, compared to spending the time to figure out how to tell a good story. The latter is neverending task. If I do have the time and patience, I, of course, would love to try to weed out Americanisms (and for me, a healthy mix of Asianism likely—just that tea thing the variations between the US and the UK would not be all that eye-catching at all if I start to go into the Asian tea habits :D ); but I wouldn't not publish a story if I don't get there; nor would I claim any story is unreadable because the authors didn't get it right. There are many more worse ways to ruin a fic than having—OMGod and Hay-soos and every haloed dude shopping guns at Walmart—muffin and coffee on the breakfast table. :)

And since I'm rambling off anyways, being someone who is not an English native speaker, slangs are kinda ... so far beyond me they're like Snitches and me, Mr Longbottom. What I have done to minimize the damage is to avoid having the characters swear as much as I can—and basicially not let Ron talk :). And if someone comes to me and announced well, your slang choice is American, I'd change it, of course, and thank her, but then if the outraged face persists, I'd grin and ask "Cut me some slack, will ya?" (which is probably American???)

*Huggles you *
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 07:39 am (UTC)
Huggles you back!

And yes, you are very right about proscription and prescription being inherently problematic, as the Great Sleepy Underpants Debate of 2011 shows. I think that a Britpick is a good idea, but I don't think it is the essential requirement for a good Potter fic, as history and my reading preferences show! And slack-cutting (another great phrase ;-)) should be essential!

As always, I remain unfussed about American spellings and the like, and although I will sometimes find myself unconvinced by things in stories -- going on a date, for example -- it's very easy to read past that for a good story. But I do find it outrageous that a discussion of difference is read as ghastly mean Brits. That's my line and I am drawing it!
(no subject) - potteresque_ire on January 8th, 2011 07:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
An interjection - kestrelsparhawk on January 8th, 2011 09:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - kirieldp on January 8th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 11:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - potteresque_ire on January 8th, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - grey_hunter on January 10th, 2011 10:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - blamebrampton on January 10th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - grey_hunter on January 10th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - momebie on January 8th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - momebie on January 8th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - germankitty on January 8th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - kirieldp on January 9th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - germankitty on January 9th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 11:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - kestrelsparhawk on January 8th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: An interjection - kestrelsparhawk on January 8th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
quatrefoilquatrefoil on January 8th, 2011 07:27 am (UTC)
I've just read a portrayal of an Australian in a book written by an American in which every outdated Australianism in used in one scentence, but the bit which really made me laugh was when the character said 'come a guster'. Some editor didn't do her/his job very well as that point.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC)
It's too much to hope for that was in reference to a fart, isn't it?
dylansbuzz: I do bad thingsdylansbuzz on January 8th, 2011 07:35 am (UTC)
It's entirely possible (and probable, being me) that I'm oversimplifying and Missing The Point here, but I will never understand how riled people get about any!nation picking.

Yes, the HP books were written within the structure and parameters of the UK, specifically England. The characters, surroundings and details are very distinctly English and unless its an AU, most authors should, and do, try and adhere to Englishisms in setting and details. But at the same time, this is fanfiction. It's not a treaty between nations, nor an official government document and most likely, its not going to change the world. So chill out.

If I write that Harry is hiding in Draco's closet, watching him wank, AND the rest of the story is good, someone closing the window because I failed to use the word wardrobe just strikes me as a shot in their own foot.

We're all trying to have fun, we ff writers. Why be so divisive?

/ ramble
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 07:50 am (UTC)
Well, that's all true. But that's not what the debate was about. People were not being divisive on Britpicking. We were discussing it and listing differences, but, as I said to a commenter above, there was in no sense a 'Your fic must rate 50 Britpoints of more to warrant reading' vibe, rather, a 'If you want to Brit-pick, here are some differences' one.

The drama has come from a reading of any discussion of difference as meanie Brits being ghastly and anti-American. My point is that pointing out Brits are much less publicly religious than Americans, for example, is not anti-Americanism. Rather, telling Brits they are not allowed to talk about difference is quite anti-British.
E McGeemelusinahp on January 8th, 2011 09:25 am (UTC)
Here's how I personally see it:

1) Comparing and discussing cultural differences is fascinating and educational. I love it. I observe these cultural differences on a daily basis. Comparing different cultures in order to prove that one is superior to the other, i.e. one is irrationally politically correct while the other is "sensible", one is brain addled from watching too many soap operas while the other somehow manages to overcome the psychological pull of its many soap operas, one is universally overrun with religion while the other sing about Jesus in school, insist families attend Church every Sunday so their kids can get into the highest rated state schools, and attend regular Christenings just for the hell of it, etc is extremely irritating for members of the defamed culture to observe. Especially when so many of the comparisons are inaccurate generalisations.

That's where the offence arises -- from the large number of insults heaped on what is actually a very diverse culture -- not from the base level comparisons.

2) Of course people should try and get the details of an unfamiliar culture correct when they are depicting it. And of course it's impossible to get all those details correct unless you've actually lived in and immersed yourself in that culture for several decades. I've lived in the UK for 13 years and I still don't have all the details and differences lined up neatly in rows.

Use a Britpicker (And hope that their Britpicking matches up with the opinions of every single other Brit in HP fandom. Good luck with that.) Do your research. But there are going to be people in HP fandom who are so focussed with the minute details of language differences that they will obsess and rage over tiny parts of speech (gotten?) so you will never be able to get it exactly right anyway.

In the end, my advice would be to do ones best but not let oneself over-focuss on getting Britishisms so "correct" (Because there's quite a bit of difference opinion even amongust Brits as to what is and isn't correct.) that you lose the fun of participating in your silly, diverting fic writing hobby.

On a side note: I certainly hope that I am not the American you refer to as "very upset". I posted a light hearted joke. That's it. Any other information you have would indicate that someone close to me is speaking out of turn.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 09:34 am (UTC)
Oh god no! I am in fact looking forward to reading your fic.

And I think that there is a massive difference between American writing is over-influenced by soap operas and Americans are. The former is a position I hold and would argue at length (even if some of the influence is second hand), the latter is something I would not suggest because it is not a sensible suggestion at all.

American culture as a whole is too dominated by religion, though, and I am more than happy to argue that point.
(no subject) - melusinahp on January 8th, 2011 09:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 10:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - melusinahp on January 8th, 2011 10:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 10:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - melusinahp on January 8th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 11:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - melusinahp on January 8th, 2011 12:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 12:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
PS -- sorry! - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2011 05:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: PS -- sorry! - melusinahp on January 9th, 2011 09:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: PS -- sorry! - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2011 10:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: PS -- sorry! - melusinahp on January 9th, 2011 10:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: PS -- sorry! - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2011 10:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 8th, 2011 10:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - melusinahp on January 8th, 2011 12:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 8th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norton_gale on January 8th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Religious mysteries - kestrelsparhawk on January 8th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Religious mysteries - norton_gale on January 9th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - momebie on January 8th, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
auntpurl: tek captain americaauntpurl on January 8th, 2011 09:53 am (UTC)
See, this is exactly why I write basically plot-free porn. As long as I can remember that British guys are generally uncircumcised (and I, ahem, have an in-house reminder), I'm golden!

Huffy Americans are silly little buggers. Heh.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 09:54 am (UTC)
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Can't discuss, too busy dying of laughter ...
george pushdragonpushdragon on January 8th, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
Three words for you. Arthur/Eames, baby.

One Brit, one American, globetrotting master criminals whose vernacular could come from anywhere. The one fandom you can argue your way out of almost any -picking debate.

To the debate on cultural imperialism (which is the invisible background to this argument, isn't it?), I add a whole lot of eye rolling, and also this. Ben & Jerry's has finally opened its first store here. I am going to protest against the smothering effect of US chain stores by attempting to eat it out of existence.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 11:04 am (UTC)
I tried it but it was too sugary, alas. Obviously this is part of my ongoing pattern of persecution.

You know, I am tempted ... but I have to beta this other thingy first ...
Blythe: tantrumblythely on January 8th, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
This is possibly the most quietly hilarious thing I have ever read in your journal, and I read you *because* you're dryly hilarious.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 11:12 am (UTC)
I had so many sensible things I was about to say, but, unfortunately, there are tears of laughter falling down my face at your icon.

Obviously, I am a banana for reacting to the original thing.
(no subject) - blythely on January 8th, 2011 11:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blythely on January 8th, 2011 11:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 11:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blythely on January 8th, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blythely on January 8th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lil_shepherd on January 9th, 2011 08:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Shivshiv5468 on January 8th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)
Never midn that, have you seen this decidedly not SFW Tremlett?

http://harrissports.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/tremlettcosmo.jpg
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 12:59 pm (UTC)
It is nearly at the point when I find it hard to recognise the England cricket team with their kit on. Bless them!
(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 8th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2011 04:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
ravurian: fucking colonialsravurian on January 8th, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
Personally, I always welcome the opportunity to use either of my most relevant tongue-in-cheek icons - the one I've used here, or this one, LOL.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 01:04 pm (UTC)
*Snort!* And as to fucking colonials, that's how I ended up in Sydney ... (Boom! Boom! in the immortal words of Mr B. Brush ...)
Jocelyn Lavingroolover on January 8th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
I didn't see the original argument. But I found your post very thought-provoking. I have been told - by more than one person - that I am the *only* person who notices Americanisms, so they don't see it as a big deal. However, all of those people were American, and I have also had several conversations with fellow Brits in which we have commiserated with each other over the prevalence of "off of" and, yes, "date", amongst many others.

It's true that not even all Brits agree with each other over what constitutes an Americanism, particularly in the past few years, when quite a few things that I think of as American have become commonly used by British people, due (no doubt) to the amount of American TV we watch.

I don't blame American HP fanfic writers for not knowing every single little difference between the languages. I do blame them if they know the differences and pay no attention to them: if a story says in the HEADER that the author has chosen to ignore (e.g.) the fact that most cookies are called biscuits in the UK, I hope the author will forgive me for choosing to ignore her story.

Apart from glaring examples such as that one, though, I certainly won't refuse to read a story just because I suspect (or know) it contains Americanisms. Some of my very favourite writers use them all the time. And the Americanisms won't stop me enjoying the story, if it's really good. However, I *will* notice them, and every time I notice one, it briefly breaks the spell of the story for me, so I'd much prefer it if they weren't there. (The same goes with spellings, but I find those easier to overlook.)

(If it's a story that's so good that I expect to read it again, I'll save it to disk, and in that case I always edit the Americanisms out, so that the NEXT time I read the story, my experience of it will be even better.)

I have an incredibly long list of things that are American enough to pull me out of a story, albeit briefly. Someday I'll publish it :-)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
Oh you're definitely not the only one who notices ... Though they rarely make me backbutton out -- unless in conjunction with something else that already has my finger hovering. I'd probably even give the cookies one a go if I had time, but with little hope. I love your sneaky fix method! I recently read a story that was really enjoyable but had one odd writerly tic that was incredibly distracting -- next time I come across something similar, I will try it!

Do write up the list if you have time, I know it's something that many people would find useful.
(no subject) - groolover on January 8th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - groolover on January 8th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 9th, 2011 04:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Emma: Tea - keep calm and put the kettle onemmacmf on January 8th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
I didn't see the original drama!post, but I imagine it was interesting.

I think using a Brit-picker is just a matter of respect for the source material. For goodness sake, I've had people Brit-pick me, because it's incredibly difficult not to absorb some Americanisms in this day-and-age. I fretted for twenty minutes over what we call the containers we get chinese takeaway in - cartons seemed too American to me - and ended up consulting shocolate. I think we went with tray in the end, and I'm sure I was over-thinking it, but these things bother me. So I completely appreciate how difficult it is to write 'British', but it doesn't take an awful lot of work to knock a fic into something with a British tone, and I certainly wouldn't dismiss a fic for a few rogue Americanisms just as long as the author had made a bit of an effort.

Back in the days when I used to write Quantum Leap fic, I had a friend American-pick it for me (and this was pre-internet and pre-my having a computer, so I used to write longhand and send off a photocopy). I wanted my writing to be as authentic as possible, so I took the steps necessary to help me achieve that.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 8th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
Mr B bought me a mug for Christmas that says Keep Calm and Stop Carrying On -- I might need an icon ...

I agree that an effort is an act of good faith. I don't think it is the sole criterion of good writing, as there is plenty of badfic that has been beautifully Britpicked, but it is about getting into the head of the characters and stretching your writing. It does reassure me that the writer is not lazy, too. Which in itself is enough to encourage the prospective reader!