Friday, April 29, 2011

Y: Ya, you bet'cha

I believe that Joel and Ethan Coen are talented filmmakers, but as native Minnesota boys, why the need to make such a mockery of our Scandinavian-based accent?

Frances McDormand won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of police chief Marge Gunderson in "Fargo." The movie had its funny moments and that was all well and good. It drew attention to our lovely state and even us Minnesotans chuckled at the absurdity of it all.

Until an internet friend of mine told me she figured I sound like Marge.

Wait, what? You think Minnesotans sound like this:


A member of my crit group is working on writing a leprechaun in her story. We've been working on trying to help create the right lilt to his dialogue. It takes a good ear to write a dialect and done poorly, the leprechaun could end up sounding as stereotypical as Marge in Fargo.

Have you written any of your characters with an accent? Do you have any examples of books where accents have been done well?


  1. One of my big pet peeves in books is when the author adds an accent to a character's dialogue within the writing itself. Accents do not come across very well, IMHO, and if a reader doesn't know what the accent sounds like to begin with, it will make even less sense. I prefer to be told what sort of accent they have, read regular writing, and then fill in the blanks myself in my head. You start changing the way words are spelled and adding accent marks and I mentally check out.

    Books that try to make the dialogue writing sound like southern accents by misspelling and cutting off words are the worst at this.

  2. When I moved to NE my friends kept telling me I had an accent and had me watch Fargo to hear how it's portrayed on there. The only thing is that they said mine wasn't that thick, which makes me happy.
    On another note, I like it when the bad guys hide out at Moose Lake. That's just a half hour from where I grew up, my school did sports with the one there and I also had a job there for a while.


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