Wednesday, November 6, 2019

IWSG: Google Gaffes


Thank goodness for the IWSG, otherwise I'd be out of the blogging gig altogether. It allows me to stay in touch with other writers, which soothes my soul. The sense of community is amazing and I'm so thankful for it. Heh, this wasn't meant to be a Thanksgiving post, but there you are. 

Anyhoo, if you're a writer and/or author and would like to join this supportive group of like-minded folks, please go HERE




Thanks a million to our founding host Alex Cavanaugh and this month's awesome co-hosts: Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie! Please stop by their blogs and say hey. 

This month's optional question is: What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

Kind of a funny story. I don't know how many people know this, but I'm an American who writes in "English". In other words, my main character is American/English and lives in England. We speak the same language, but some things just don't translate. I have a British editor, so it helps when she catches stuff and calls me out on it. 


I recently published my short story, Lady Sings the Boos, a cozy paranormal mystery. I love my ghosties and they keep me so entertained by the things they say! Like when one of the ghosts speaks Pig Latin to Indigo at the Blue Note jazz club:


“Eddie don’t talk to the living. e’ says you lot can’t be trusted.” He shoved his bulbous nose close to my face, and ghost spittle sprayed my cheeks. “Now amscray before Eddie gets angry,” he said, blowing smoke in my face.

Stunned for a moment, I stood in a backward-leaning position, like an ancient headstone right before it topples over. I stepped back and waved away the smoke. Ghost-dude could use lessons from Miss Manners. And had he seriously just spoken Pig Latin to me? So last century.


Oopsie! Who knew that the Brits don't do Pig Latin? It seems that they might've heard of it (through American film), but it's not really a thing there. I googled it after the fact, but I hadn't thought about googling it beforehand. Even so, I didn't find much info about origin and whether the British ever used it. 

So I had to remove a couple of scenes, like the one above, that really tickled my funny bone. (FYI, for you Brits out there, amscray means scram in Pig Latin, a made up language.)

What about you? What's the strangest
 or funniest thing you've ever 
googled in the name of research? 



30 comments:

  1. Maybe that's why I only write stories that take place in the US...I'm already paranoid about getting other cities I don't live in right, let alone a whole other country!

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    1. I’m such an Anglophile and I love writing in English so much! I also primarily read in English as well, so that helps.

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  2. Pig Latin would be a whole new language to a British person.

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    1. I know! Haha. So fun to do when you’re a kid too.

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  3. I wouldn't have thought of that either. There's so many details to keep track of when we write.

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    1. Yes, thankfully mine are paranormal cozies and not too realistic. LOL.

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  4. Sorry you couldn't use that scene.
    And that's why we do the monthly posting - to keep all of us connected!

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  5. Even thought the language is close, OH MY there are different terms and meaning for words.

    Teresa

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  6. Having a British editor would really help. One reason I haven't written about English characters is because I dread having to know every American word that has a different meaning elsewhere.

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    1. I read primarily English authors so that helps. Complete Anglophile here!

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  7. Best American/British translation happened in email. I told Annalisa Crawford I stubbed my toe and she thought I'd chopped it off.

    That is the purpose of the IWSG...to stay connected. We also do the newsletter to try to keep people in the know. We have a section for member's new books. I'll make a note of yours! Sounds like a fun read!

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    1. Lol! I didn’t know that one!

      Thanks, Elizabeth, I appreciate your support!

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  8. Hi,
    That is a funny story. I live in Europe too, specifically Germany and they think everyone should speak U.K. English because most Germans consider American English as slang.
    I'm smiling at your experience.
    All the best and have a lovely November.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  9. That seems odd to me that Brits wouldn't use Pig Latin at least like that, throwing a word in on occasion. I guess it's just normal over here.

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    1. And it's such a fun thing to do as a kid--they missed out!

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  10. Can’t think of anything funny I’ve researched. Writing historical fiction it all seems to have been pretty serious stuff...(sigh)

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  11. Too funny on the Brit/English translations! I have to admit, IWSG is sometimes all that keeps my blog alive, as well. Connecting with the community is the one thing that made me happy when my blog came back up after a temporary glitch.

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  12. Wow, that is interesting. I might not thought about researching that either. Love the scene. Happy Belated IWSG!

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    1. Quite interesting. Lol. I might have to use the scene in another American-related story.

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  13. Wow! Had no idea Pig Latin wasn't a thing in England. Glad your editor caught that!

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    1. A lot of things transfer, speaking the same language and all. You’d think Pig Latin being a fun kid thing would have made it across the pond. Lol.

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  14. I had no idea the Brits don’t know pig latin! I’ll remember that if I need to talk secrets in England sometimes :D

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    1. Lol, that’d be a hoot, with them trying to figure out what language you’re speaking. My husband spoke it in German, in Germany, and it drove them crazy trying to figure it out.

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  15. I hadn't realized Pig Latin didn't translate.

    I've had a few "gaffes" in American to UK translation. So helpful to have an editor to catch those and help with the authenticity of the writing.

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