Monday, October 31, 2011

Snow Terminology with Tyler-Rose

Tyler-Rose, my wonderful blogging partner, has moved from a warm climate to a chilly one in coming to college.  Yesterday, I discovered this meant she had no idea what I was talking about when I used certain bits of snow terminology.

The conversation went something like this: 


SUSAN:  So, do you know what it means to flurry?

TYLER-ROSE:  Nope. 

SUSAN:  How about when snow 'sticks'? 

TYLER-ROSE:  ?

SUSAN:  Wet snow versus powdery, dry snow?

TYLER-ROSE:  ...How can snow be dry?

I shared all the snow-related knowlege I could think of, of course.  But it was funny to realize that she had never heard these phrases before.  I knew she didn't have much experience with snow, but I never fully thought through the implications.  (When I said "powdery" snow, she said she imagined the "fake potato-flake that they use in movies and when they're walking down the hill it sprays up in big floofs."  Not...exactly.)

Similarly, if I wrote a piece of fiction in which someone gets up on a cold November morning, looks out the window, grins and says, "It's sticking!  The snow's sticking!" (My family is always excited the first time snow sticks.) I would probably leave a sizeable group of readers scratching their heads.  It made me realize how important it is to be aware of colloquial, regional, and demographical differences when I write.  I don't think it's a problem in my writing, but it's something to keep in mind. 

On a similar note, Tyler-Rose had to explain to me today what re-fried beans are, and that where she comes from, "they don't live in the exotic foods aisle."  See what great differences there are between different regions?

1 comment:

  1. I was just remembering the time I had to explain to Susan what "lush Winter grass" is. Because that is something we have where I come from. Winter is the greenest season.

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