Sunday, April 27, 2008

swang! swang! swang!

From: Renée Strider

I am reading Stay, having recently finished The Blue Place. I had not read your work before. I'm much more than impressed. Some absolutely great writing! I'm looking forward to reading all of your works.

About "swang":
I love Stay, but every time I read that word it's like a traffic bump. Why did you use that old version of the past tense which is never used anymore? Perhaps Aud explains later, and I should just be patient. I notice on your website a reference to an explanation but can't find it in your archives. My curiosity is getting the better of me, so would you send me the URL or direct me to the explanation on your site? Thanks.

No other word I've used, ever, has been as much trouble as this one. I think I've answered this question at least a dozen times. Here's the place to start on that years-long discussion. One day I'll get around to writing a FAQ. 'Swang' will be number one on the list (closely followed by, 'no, no naked pictures' and 'no, I won't talk about my sex life').

For the record, some people--like English people--still do use the word swang. I do. To swing works like the verb to sing: sing, sang, had sung; swing, swang, had swung. Never just 'sung' or 'swung'. Ugly. Uncouth. Wrong.

Swang! Swang! Swang!

Well, I'm glad to get that off my chest. FYI, I'll be using plenty of English-isms in my novel-in-progress: learnt, spelt, smelt, swang, dreamt, shone. In my opinion, words like 'shined' in place of 'shone' are just pain nasty.

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