A common language

common languageI have been busy turning my novel, Mounting Desire, which is set in Los Angeles, into a play. I am setting it in London in hopes of attracting a British theatre producer. My agent has asked me to make another pass at it to remove the Americanisms. Because as George Bernard Shaw said: England and America are two countries separated by a common language.

Here are just a few examples of the changes I’ve had to make (warning, some of the phrases are slightly x-rated) :

Call it quits. Pack it in. Call it a day.

Picky. Particular.

How’s yours going? How’s yours coming along. (In fact, I had to slash my use of the word got. Brits tend not to say got. As in I’ve got a lucky cup. They would say I have a lucky cup.)

You want some coffee? Would you like a coffee?

Great, just great. Just ticketyboo. (I’m kidding.)

Wanna screw? Fancy a shag?

Get her rocks off. Bring her off. (Or as my agent suggested helpfully: Having a jolly good bunk up.)

Honey. Darling

You da man. (Had to delete the whole idea.)

I better go. I’m off.

Police lieutenant. Detective superintendant

Wow. The British do not say Wow. Ever. (Just been told by two British friends that they say wow all the time. I’ve never heard them, but I do stand corrected.)

Anyway, I hope to be done soon so I can get back to my book. Which I am planning to write completely in Britsh English.

Do wish me luck.

photo by jovike (flickr)

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “A common language

  1. Lisa

    Nina – if this goes into a theatre let me know…I bet I can talk Chris into flying out to see it. I have a friend with so many air miles he doesn’t know what to do with them. Best of luck translating this into British English. I wonder how it would sound in deep South of the U.S. English? This is exciting 🙂

  2. Oh, Nina, whatever changes you make, you will see your great funny satire on stage. Let me talk with you about that! Wow. I am so glad that you are doing so well, Nina. I am not surprised at that, but I’m delighted! Please get in touch. I have something to tell you about.
    Your friend, Dale

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