Thursday, December 9, 2010

Literary Pet Peeves

Another Thursday, another literary blog hop hosted by The Blue Bookcase.  This week's question is: what is one of your literary pet peeves?

I've glanced at a couple people's entries so far and there are some good examples of things that really grind my gears (thanks Family Guy!) but at the moment I have a literary pet peeve I'm trying to work through: eye dialect.  I wrote about this recently because I'm never one to turn down a chance to complain, so apologies if you don't want to hear it again.  You could instead listen to this men's a capella group doing a cover of Bad Romance.

For those that don't follow ever post I put out there (and why not??) I hate when author's use difficult-to-follow eye dialect.  I understand it can add flavor to the text and give you an idea how the author thinks the characters sound.  But I can never figure out what's being said unless I read it out loud.  And there are a couple problems with that.

1) I'm usually in public when I read and people don't seem to appreciate someone reading aloud in a ridiculous accent.
2) The most recent examples I've come across are in Dr. No by Ian Fleming and I feel really racist reading those parts out loud, even when I'm home.

Here is an example of the eye dialect I just had to get through:
'Him have plenty watchmen. An' guns - machine guns.  An' a radar.  An' a spottin' plane.  Frens o' mine have landed dere and him never been sen again. Dat Chinee keep him island plenty private.  Tell dat trut', cap'n', Quarrel as apologetic 'dat Crab Key care me plenty.'
Or if you'd prefer an example from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. At least he realized how difficult it would be to read (and probably sucked to write it) so he dropped it after you got the point.
Ow, eez ye-ooa san, is e? Wal, fewd dan y' de-ooty bawmz a mather should, eed now bettern to spawl a pore gel's flahrzn than ran awy atbaht pyin. Will ye-oo py me f'them?
So what are your literary pet peeves?