Monday, October 31, 2011
Snow Terminology with Tyler-Rose
The conversation went something like this:
SUSAN: So, do you know what it means to flurry?
SUSAN: How about when snow 'sticks'?
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?