Monday, August 10, 2015

Checking Slang.

One big headache for historical romance is getting the slang correct. It's 2015, and the tendency is to write in modern language. A "valley girls in gowns" regency romance won't always work. To be accurate, it will work some of the time, but not always.

I've been using a pretty darn good online etymology dictionary to check on usage. But it's manually curated. Therefore it makes mistakes (as do troll reviewers). An example from a book that is in the final editing.

'“Under a pen name, of course. Won't do to have the next Lord Caterham associated with slushy romantic poetry. Just not done.”'

Slushy sounds rather modern, and the etymology dictionary says it wasn't used at the time. Ha! If I go to the google Ngram search, which automatically searches the corpus of English (and other languages) literature.  Turns out "slushy" is correct.