Missing words, is it an accent?

Some grammar rules (and embarrassing mistakes!) transcend the uniqueness of different regions and style guides. This new International Grammar section by OnlineBookClub.org ultimately identifies those rules thus providing a simple, flexible rule-set, respecting the differences between regions and style guides. You can feel free to ask general questions about spelling and grammar. You can also provide example sentences for other members to proofread and inform you of any grammar mistakes.
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Missing words, is it an accent?

Post by Helen_Combe » 13 Aug 2018, 11:31

Hi, I’m reading a book by an American author. It’s written in the first person and there are words regularly missing like

Saturday morning, I sat my front steps to wait for Mr. Crumley.

This way above your pay grade.

Am I looking at mistakes or is it a regional accent?

Thanks
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Post by DATo » 13 Aug 2018, 12:57

Could you give us a few examples?
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Post by Helen_Combe » 13 Aug 2018, 12:58

Saturday morning, I sat my front steps to wait for Mr. Crumley.

This way above your pay grade.
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Post by CatInTheHat » 13 Aug 2018, 15:07

Helen_Combe wrote:
13 Aug 2018, 12:58
Saturday morning, I sat my front steps to wait for Mr. Crumley.

This way above your pay grade.
It should say, "On Saturday morning..." and "This is way..." Not regional in the written word, and very slangish in the oral word.
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Post by Helen_Combe » 13 Aug 2018, 15:10

OK, thanks, I’ll treat if as an error.
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Post by DATo » 15 Aug 2018, 03:47

I'm thinking a colon after "morning" might be correct, but I'm not sure. For reasons of his own the narrator is attempting to state the fact that what he is about to relate is taking place on Saturday morning. It would be more properly written as ... It was Saturday morning. I sat on my front steps to wait for Mr. Crumley.

Out of context it would appear to be an error, but perhaps it isn't. One must take into consideration the persona of the character who is making the statement; for instance, you wouldn't hear a Shakespearian character saying, "Youz guys is driv'n me crazy." but it would sound entirely appropriate if spoken by a member of the Mafia family in the TV series, The Sopranos. Your example is obviously being narrated in first person which means we are dealing with a specific person in the story. If this person speaks this way (clipped expressions) throughout the story then I would not consider it an error, but rather continuity within the character's developed persona.
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Post by Helen_Combe » 15 Aug 2018, 04:33

Thank you. I was wondering if it’s in fact the accent of the author. ‘I sat my front steps’ (missing the on) was from the first person narrator but ‘This way above’ (missing the is) was dialogue from a different character.
But if it’s a regional thing, then everybody will talk in that manner.
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Post by DATo » 15 Aug 2018, 05:25

Helen_Combe wrote:
15 Aug 2018, 04:33
Thank you. I was wondering if it’s in fact the accent of the author. ‘I sat my front steps’ (missing the on) was from the first person narrator but ‘This way above’ (missing the is) was dialogue from a different character.
But if it’s a regional thing, then everybody will talk in that manner.
I cannot in any way defend the second example. The word "is" is definitely missing. There is no American accent or regional expression which validates this phrasing. This is an example of very poor editing. In fact, it should have been corrected long before it got to an editor by the writer proofing the text him/herself.

And I missed the point of the first example - the "on" is missing too. Unforgivable sloth on the part of the writer. Don't people like this even read over what they have written? I try to do that even with my posts here at OBC.
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Post by Gravy » 15 Aug 2018, 06:08

Even if it were a regional accent/dialect (some of the more extreme southern accents, Cajun, or even just broken English), it would be a poorly written one as I would think "This" would likely appear as "Dis."
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Post by Helen_Combe » 15 Aug 2018, 06:25

DATo wrote:
15 Aug 2018, 05:25
Helen_Combe wrote:
15 Aug 2018, 04:33
Thank you. I was wondering if it’s in fact the accent of the author. ‘I sat my front steps’ (missing the on) was from the first person narrator but ‘This way above’ (missing the is) was dialogue from a different character.
But if it’s a regional thing, then everybody will talk in that manner.
I cannot in any way defend the second example. The word "is" is definitely missing. There is no American accent or regional expression which validates this phrasing. This is an example of very poor editing. In fact, it should have been corrected long before it got to an editor by the writer proofing the text him/herself.

And I missed the point of the first example - the "on" is missing too. Unforgivable sloth on the part of the writer. Don't people like this even read over what they have written? I try to do that even with my posts here at OBC.
Thank you, I’m getting my red pen out right now.
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Post by Helen_Combe » 15 Aug 2018, 06:26

Gravy wrote:
15 Aug 2018, 06:08
Even if it were a regional accent/dialect (some of the more extreme southern accents, Cajun, or even just broken English), it would be a poorly written one as I would think "This" would likely appear as "Dis."
Thank you, I think the jury have returned with a verdict of ‘guilty’.
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Post by Gravy » 16 Aug 2018, 23:39

Throw the book at them!
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Post by Helen_Combe » 17 Aug 2018, 01:38

They’re going down :lol:
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Post by kaymontacell » 23 Aug 2018, 13:34

Looks like just some really bad mistakes. Everyone's been there, but yeah, this isn't an accent thing.
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Post by Helen_Combe » 23 Aug 2018, 14:44

kaymontacell wrote:
23 Aug 2018, 13:34
Looks like just some really bad mistakes. Everyone's been there, but yeah, this isn't an accent thing.
Thank you
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