Dialogue then and now

Overheard at a coffee shop:

“So I was like fucking pissed, like for real.”

Perhaps I need a better coffee shop to hang out in, you say.  Well, apart from that let’s think about the quote. How would this translate into teen talk from another decade? Go back too far and there weren’t any “teenagers”, a fairly recent and abhorrent invention.

I just finished writing an historical novel, set in New York in 1916. I knew there would be a lot of differences, especially in dialogue, but until I actually wrote it I had no idea how much. The dialogue in this book has made the whole cadence of the thing different. For one thing, it is the longest book I have ever written.

People took their time. They were polite and discreet. circumlocutions R Us in the old days. And I loved it.

Translating this teenaged girl’s comment to 1916 might go something like this:

“In all honesty, I was quite put off by this entire thing.”

Perhaps you might have a better translation?

Or try another age?

About Caro Soles

Writer in several genres, lover of dachshunds and opera, with some ballet thrown in for good measure. I founded the Bloody Words Mystery Conference, which ran for 14 years as well as the Bony Blithe Award for Canadian Light Mysteries, but that, too, has come to an end. My latest novel is The River District, a look at the seamy side of Merculian.
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