Various writers have commented on the strange results that occur when British authors try to represent American speech.

P. G. Wodehouse seemed to think he was making his characters sound American if he started their every other statement with "Say, ... ".
I've now noticed that Agatha Christie also had some strange ideas about how Americans talk. In her The Big Four she has a presumably well-educated American, in a polite meeting with Hercule Poirot, starting a question with "Say, mister ... ". She didn't seem to realize how insolent, vulgar, and inappropriate to the setting that would sound to an American.
She has a highly successful and otherwise well-spoken American businessman saying
I mean to say, if I have a lot of dooks and earls
and suchlike down to the country place I've gotten, you'll be able to sort them out all right and put
them where they should be round the table.
I wouldn't expect an American speaker to say "round the table" instead of "around the table". Also, her use of "gotten" is suspect. I think she probably meant it to mean "I have" and was confused by a lack of understanding of why Americans use "gotten" in some places where English English speakers use "got".
The American was renting the country place. He would have been more likely to say "the country place I've got", meaning "the country place I have". If he had wanted to mean "the country place I've obtained", then he might have said "I've gotten", but I doubt that's what he meant.
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Various writers have commented on the strange results that occur when British authors try to represent American speech.

They tend to overdo the slang. But then so do American writers of a certain vintage. Here's a speech from Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest (1927):

"I'm busted, flat. I know you're a Continental op, and I got a pretty good hunch what you're up to here. I'm close to a lot that's going on on both sides of things in this burg. There's things I could do for you, being an ex-***, knowing the ropes both ways." (etc etc for 200 pages)
P. G. Wodehouse seemed to think he was making his characters sound American if he started their every other statement with "Say, ... ".

He ought to have known better with the amount of time he spent in the US.
I've now noticed that Agatha Christie also had some strange ideas about how Americans talk. In her The Big ... mean "the country place I've obtained", then he might have said "I've gotten", but I doubt that's what he meant.

"Round the table" sounds all right to me, but "gotten" is definitely wrong.
Various writers have commented on the strange results that occur when British authors try to represent American speech. P. G. ... mean "the country place I've obtained", then he might have said "I've gotten", but I doubt that's what he meant.

I agree about 'gotten' and 'round'.
I wonder what she intended by the misspelling of dukes? Is there a quality of pronunciation that that would suggest, or was she just trying to make him sound ignorant?

john
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I wonder what she intended by the misspelling of dukes? Is there a quality of pronunciation that that would suggest, or was she just trying to make him sound ignorant?

Boston Irish would say "dook".

John Varela
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I wonder what she intended by the misspelling of dukes? ... or was she just trying to make him sound ignorant?

Boston Irish would say "dook".

I think the vast majority of Americans would say /duk/, that is, they would rhyme "duke" with "spook", say. The use of /ju/ in words like "news" and, I suppose from your comment, "duke", which is standard in Britain, is found in the US mainly in some dwindling dialectal groups in the Eastern and Southeastern coast, plus there's the artificial use of /ju/ in "news", still fairly common among American news broadcasters.

"Dook" seems like it could be suggesting something else, a sort of uncouthly back-vowel realization of /u/. I think this is what Mairicans mean when they write "Noo Yawk" to represented a supposed New York pronunciation of "New York", but in fact New York is one of the places in the US where there are many native speakers who preserve, or half-preserve, a do/due distinction.
I wonder what she intended by the misspelling of dukes? ... or was she just trying to make him sound ignorant?

Boston Irish would say "dook".

And other Americans would say... ?
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Various writers have commented on the strange results that occur when British authors try to represent American speech.

They tend to overdo the slang. But then so do American writers of a certain vintage. Here's a speech from Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest (1927):[/nq]I think it's right that American writers of the time also laid it on a bit thick. But it seems to be a regettable truth that British writers of the period had great difficulty in distinguishing between American speakers and uneducated ones. There is a complex of reasons, including: first, the several English-speaking countries all seem to apply different cut-off points between slang and merely colloquial usage (and, of course, to find their differences in vocabulary more marked in slangy speech); then, the British desire to believe that Americans were in some way not quite as 'proper' as they imagined themselves to be overcompensation for various things, no doubt (this has, most unfortunately, not absolutely died out among some older people); and, I think very importantly, a British perception that 'self-made' American rich men needed in fiction to be portrayed as uneducated.

This last is not just everyday authorial laziness: it can actually be read as a, perhaps back-handed, compliment, since the stereotyped portrayal of the home-grown British 'self-made' man was at the time often as one desperate to conform to perceived upper-class norms, while the American counterpart was refreshingly 'natural'.

There's a bitter side, too: Britain like other European countries had suffered an unimaginable and meaningless slaughter of her younger men, and was very angry. Writers between the wars tended to see newly-rich older men as war profiteers (and I have little reason to doubt the perception) who should not be painted in a flattering light; inevitably, more of these men were American than British. "Hard-faced men who did well out of the war." Even in light comedy such as Compton MacKenzie's very funny Hunting the Fairies , Yu-Yu Urquhart-Unwin's late husband was dismissively described as having made a fortune selling "...buttons, was it, eh?" to the US Army.
Mike.
Various writers have commented on the strange results that occur when British authors try to represent American speech.

I wonder if that was before or after Wodehouse
worked in the US (discretionary question mark).
Even the brilliant John Cleese, who, one would
think, had spent enought time in the US to know
better, produced the distastrous (to this avid fan) "Waldorf Salad" sketch, which invented "American"
speech and behavior I have never seen or heard
in America or anywhere else.
I agree with your points of usage. It should be
acknowledged, though, that many American writers
commit the same offenses when portraying "typical" Englishmen and Englishwomen.
"I say old chap" and all that, eh wot?

Michael West
Various writers have commented on the strange results that occur when British authors try to represent American speech.

I wonder if that was before or after Wodehouse worked in the US (discretionary question mark). Even the brilliant John ... "Waldorf Salad" sketch, which invented "American" speech and behavior I have never seen or heard in America or anywhere else.

Oh we're used to that kind of thing by now. Ironically, the show was co-written by his then wife, Connie Booth, who's American. But even years later, in A Fish Called Wanda, he came out with an appalling version of an American accent.
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