Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » "A spell"

   
Author Topic: "A spell"
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Every author has his favourite words, but now I'm reading Lee Child's books (I really like them, btw), and there's one thing that is a bit annoying. He uses "spell" word all the time, meaning "short while", "moment". "He stood there for a spell", "how long have you been here? - just for a spell", "a spell", "for a spell". I read some books in English, not many (maybe fifty or sixty), but I dont recall anyone using this word so often. Is it that common? Most of his novels are placed in the US, and it doesnt sound so American to me. Am I wrong?
Posts: 587 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Where in the US? And are they modern?

Feels a bit odd to me, as someone who has lived on the West-Coast or Southwest most of my life. My gut tells me that if it is commonly used anywhere in the US it's going to be the South, but I haven't spoken with my southern relatives in over a decade. Sounds sort of like something my southern grandmother might have said.

Posts: 3491 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, the stories I read so far took place in Montana and South Dakota... And yes, it is modern. And it is not only the character saying it, but also the narrator.
Posts: 587 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Huh. Don't know anyone from either of those states, so it may be common over there. Might also be an idiosyncrasy of the author. Where is he from?
Posts: 3491 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's a Western thing, and fairly common.
Posts: 14907 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, it's common if by "Western" you mean Western America as it was defined in the late 19th and early 20th centuries...By that consideration you're actually right. I would have no trouble hearing that phrase in a cowboy flick, for example.

Hmmm...

I guess Montana and South Dakota have a much higher number of modern cowboys than we got in the southwest, so that must be what you mean, Kwea. Because I lived around the AZ/UT/NM border and on the west coast I've lived in Northern CA and WA and I don't think I ever heard anyone use that phrase.

As an aside, it's sort of funny that "Western" excludes literally all of the westernmost states in the country.

Posts: 3491 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
It's a Western thing, and fairly common.

More Southwest than West, but definitely still used.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ambyr
Member
Member # 7616

 - posted      Profile for ambyr           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sounds normal to me.
Posts: 642 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Author is British [Smile] Just checked. It might be it, huh?
Posts: 587 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bella Bee
Member
Member # 7027

 - posted      Profile for Bella Bee   Email Bella Bee         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It sounds old fashioned to me, for British English. Although my grandmother used to say it.
Posts: 1467 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jake
Member
Member # 206

 - posted      Profile for Jake           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can attest to the fact that older people in rural parts of NE Kansas still use "spell" in this way occasionally. It's definitely on its way out, though.
Posts: 857 | Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AchillesHeel
Member
Member # 11736

 - posted      Profile for AchillesHeel   Email AchillesHeel         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm on the fourth book of Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. He can't bring himself write twenty or twelve, only score and dozen. It is beyond him apparently, I've heard 'score' enough to know it represents a number but never enough to care about what it mean, Tad Williams forced to look it up to make sure I understood correctly.
Posts: 2241 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jake
Member
Member # 206

 - posted      Profile for Jake           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Try taking a shot every time George R. R. Martin uses the word "puling" in Tuf Voyaging. You will be dead of alcohol poisoning within a chapter or two.
Posts: 857 | Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AchillesHeel
Member
Member # 11736

 - posted      Profile for AchillesHeel   Email AchillesHeel         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hehe, you could do a drinking game in a bar (a college town most likely) where you project particular chapters of Patrick Rothfuss' Name of the Wind and have someone reading out loud. Take a drink whenever Rothfuss uses a seven word sentence, finish your drink every time Kvothe's red hair is mentioned. Shot of Jack when Deanna becomes distant or Ambrose is a Jakis.

By outlining this game I may have committed murder.
I regret nothing.

Posts: 2241 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hehe [Smile] I had to check what puling means, though;) Do you think OSCs got such words? I never noticed.
Posts: 587 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
advice for robots
Member
Member # 2544

 - posted      Profile for advice for robots           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Every time OSC uses inner dialogue to show us just how intelligent a character is. [Razz]
Posts: 5758 | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh yeah, absolutely:)
Posts: 587 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AchillesHeel
Member
Member # 11736

 - posted      Profile for AchillesHeel   Email AchillesHeel         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Or whenever an older character condescends to a younger character who is actually smarter than them.
Posts: 2241 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sean Monahan
Member
Member # 9334

 - posted      Profile for Sean Monahan   Email Sean Monahan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jake:
Try taking a shot every time George R. R. Martin uses the word "puling" in Tuf Voyaging. You will be dead of alcohol poisoning within a chapter or two.

Or every time he uses a form of the phrase, "he was not wrong," in Dance w/ Dragons. It became amusing in the first half of the book. Then it started to get annoying.
Posts: 960 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Annie
Member
Member # 295

 - posted      Profile for Annie   Email Annie         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am from Montana. We do not use "a spell" any more often than any other American English speaker, which means we don't use it very often. 100 years ago? Maybe.
Posts: 8503 | Registered: Aug 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JonHecht
Member
Member # 9712

 - posted      Profile for JonHecht   Email JonHecht         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
Every time OSC uses inner dialogue to show us just how intelligent a character is. [Razz]

Except for the time he used 'predilection' then the characters had a brief conversation about the use of 'predilection'.
Posts: 2699 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ZachC
Member
Member # 12709

 - posted      Profile for ZachC   Email ZachC         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The chapter in Ender's Shadow in which Major Anderson discusses with the head of command school about his use of the word 'predilection' is probably one of my favorite 'chapter opening dialogue' moments
Posts: 82 | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2