Weekly Writing Challenge: A Manner of Speaking
For some of us, blogging is personal. Others are trying to educate or entertain; many more are hybrids. Yet we’re all storytellers. Creative Writing Challenges help you to push your writing boundaries, show off your blogging chops, and, hopefully, spark more post ideas.
To participate, tag your post with DPchallenge or leave a link to it in the comments. (It would also be great if you could link to this post to encourage people to take part – the more the merrier!) Your post should be specifically written in response to this challenge. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight some of our favorite posts on Freshly Pressed on Friday.
Slang words roll off of our tongues with ease, connecting us to our geographical, generational, and cultural affiliations. For some of us, online acronyms like IDK and LOL may have quietly slipped into our offline vernacular. For others, our traditional vocabularies may have been replaced by Spanglish or Portuñol words as we communicate in multicultural settings. Either way, language is a constantly evolving force, and we readily accept its forward progress.
At the same time, there are certain regional affectations that remain the same. These phrases and idiosyncrasies tie us to a sense of place and history through a simple utterance, a single word chosen over another while typing. I’m always acutely aware of this each time I involuntarily utter, “I’m going to the Shore this weekend,” in place of “I’m going to the beach,” in front of someone who’s not from New Jersey. We’ve all had those debates with friends about which phrase or pronunciation is correct, with the bottom-line reasoning being, “Because that’s how we say it.”
For this week’s writing challenge, showcase your slang. It can be a display of regional pride, a contemplation on new words you’ve heard, but still don’t quiet understand, or a practice in dialogue that mimics our regular speaking patterns. Need a few ideas to get you going?
- Pick a word or phrase that is unique to where you live or your cultural background. Tell us a story about how it came about, what it means to you, and how it’s used.
- Write a post written entirely in slang, dialect, or a regional accent. This can be a way of speaking that is completely familiar to you or a form of linguistics that you’ve always been curious about.
- Pull a Jabberwocky and practice creating your own slang by sprinkling some made-up words throughout your post. Who knows, maybe one will catch on!
Curious to read what others around WordPress.com have written about, or in, vernacular? Try a few of these posts on for size:
- Texting is an expansion of our linguistic repertoire, from Sentence first
- On Stir-Bugs, Skinners, and Truck Skinners, from 101 Books
- Plain Talking, from sleepygonzales
- Pidgin English, from 27 months in Cameroon
Now, get goin’ and gimme an earful of your favorite colloquialisms!