An unusual issue - Trying NOT to use conventional grammar.

Call me CX   Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:43 am GMT
I can not seem to adhere to regional conventions of English language orthography. For example, I plan to live in Scotland one day, but I can not, for the life of me, type or speak Scottish English, despite knowing it thoroughly. I'm getting adept at speaking English with a Scottish accent, but that's not the same.

It's not a problem when I'm with my close friends, but it's an enormous obstacle when I'm with acquantainces, such as in an online conversation where there are many people I don't know. In other words, I don't exactly fit in. This can be attributed to the fact that I'm so attached to proper grammar, after all, I'm a writer as well as an aspiring researcher and linguist. However, my penchant for conventional English grammar, whilst certainly positive, is hindering the expansion of my social network in this particular country.

I want to be able to switch codes at will, depending on what the situation calls for. If I'm not communicating with this community, I'll obviously want to employ the conventional form of English, but otherwise I'll want to do away with my inhibitions and talk and type like a native, for the purpose of fulfilling my desire to fit in. I hereby present the following question, how could I get myself to do that?
Call me CX   Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:45 pm GMT
So, could anyone offer some help? XP
Johnny   Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:28 pm GMT
Are you saying you can't seem to be able to use informal English? Well, you could learn informal English the same way you learned to use the overcorrect variety you tend to use.

My friends and I were observing a peculiar creature... --> Me and my friends were watching a weird animal...

I'm sorry I can't help more, but it seems such an unusual problem, as you said. I guess that's what happens to the learners who read too many grammar books and only read newspapers or only listen to the news. They are only exposed to certain registers...
Guest   Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:03 pm GMT
My friends and I were observing a peculiar creature... --> Me and my friends were watching a weird animal...

''My friends and I were observing a peculiar creature... '' sounds too formal.

Informal options:

1. Me and my friends were watching a weird animal...
2. My friends and me were watching a weird animal...
3. Me and my friends, we were...
4. My friends and me, we were..
Guest   Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:28 pm GMT
Remember to say things like:

'Does the car need washed' instead of 'Does the car need washing'.

However I wasn't aware in general that Scottish grammar was any worse (or should I say less formal) than that of many regional English dialects. For example I don't think they are as likely to switch around the 'was' and 'were' forms, as for example they do in Manchester and London.
Call me CX   Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:00 pm GMT
I'm going to give you a few samples of the informal variety of Scottish English (well, Glasgow patter, to be more precise), so you can compare and contrast.

"gonny dae me a wee faver, bugger aff, cuz yer daein ma heid in" - Do me a favour and go away, because you're annoying me.

"aw naw, there gid nd aw at, ya ken, but no fab" - Oh no, they're in fact good, you know, but not fabulous.

"wit yeez aw like?" - What are all of you like?

"go doon fur the messages rite the noo, the shops are aboot eh close" - Go buy some groceries now, the market is about to close.

"yoo tryin' eh be hard like, but its no workin' mate" - You're trying to act tough, but it's not working.

"awrite mate?" - How are you, my friend? (Awrite has the same meaning as "alright" in other situations)

"yer puwa/pure mad mento" - You're absolutely insane

As you can see, the biggest difference lies in the lexicon, but there are a few grammar differences. I can't seem to use that sort of language, it's like a mental block. It's SO awkward when I use proper, polite English when I'm talking to people who speak or type like that. XD I wanted to get rid of this block.