Rules of the Road for the Regency Language

Pride and Prejudice 1980 Elizabeth Garvie David Rintoul Elizabeth Bennet Mr Darcy

There was an interesting article over at Austen Authors a few days ago:

Rules of the Road for the Regency Language

While talking a little about the differences between UK and US terminology, it also goes into the history behind it, and another thing I know many aren’t aware of: the grammar is different. For example, there are times when American English would refer to something as singular, where in British English it would be a plural.

The one that always gets me: US English saying ‘the staff was’ when we say ‘the staff were’ in Britain, Australia etc.

Because I read so many US-produced review books I think I do okay switching between the two versions of English, but authors should take note when writing dialogue. I’m okay with US grammar in my historical romance as long as it’s not coming out of the mouth (or the pen – I get picky over letters in books!) of a Brit.

The blog post – and the entire site – is well worth a read. I am really impressed by how much detailed research some authors dive into.