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"'The Frugal Editor: Do-It-Yourself Editing Secrets for Authors' is a complete course of instruction under one cover." ~ Jim Cox Editor-in-Chief Midwest Book Review

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Great Dialogue Help: In Case You Didn't Know Americans Speak Different Languages

Because people in America speak different languages--even when they are speaking English--they may not understand each other. East or West Coast. Buffalo, Orleans, or Chicago. Phoenix. I've lived in them all and, trust me, I've had my linguistically challenging moments. 

When I moved from my home state (Utah)  to work as a publicist in New York, there were days when I thought I spoke an entirely different language than New Yorkers. Perhaps it was vice versa. That was several decades ago, but apparently, that hasn’t changed. Josh Katz lists a few definitions in his Speaking American that makes those east of the Mississippi think those of us in the West “talk funny”—and vice versa.  Here are a couple from his book:

·       In the East they say “sneakers.” Westerners call them tennis shoes.
·       In the East they say “scrap paper.” Westerners say “scratch paper.”
·       Easterners say “skillet.” Westerners say “frying pan.”

Back in my New York days, I had to remember to say “light bulb” rather than “light globe” if I expected to find one at the grocery store and to say “highway” rather than “freeway” because the big roads around New York City were most decidedly not free.

PS: If you write fiction or use dialogue in your nonfiction, you need Katz's book. You can buy Katz’s book on Amazon.


 Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor. Her latest is in the series is  How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. Learn more on her Amazon profile page, . Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers is one of her booklets--perfect for inexpensive gift giving--and The Great First Impression Book Proposal, another booklet, helps writers who want to be traditionally published. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it will help them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at She also blogs at all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart,and Tuned-In Editor ( Her blog focuses on the writing life and book marketing and promotion. It is a Writers' Digest 101 Best blogs pick. Carolyn is also
marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the award-winningest book in the series,  The Frugal Editor.

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