Accents

Not every character speaks the same way. Even on the relatively small land mass that is the British Isles, the variety of accents and dialects is enormous. So it can be a lot of fun to play a character with a different mode of speech to distinguish them.

There is some challenge involved with this. When typing out accents, it's very easy to slip from adding color to one's dialogue, into making it a chore for others to read. What you hear in your head when cropping words with apostrophes or replacing letters may not match how others read it. Even if your intention is for the character to be difficult to understand, it runs the risk of making the character less fun to RP with.

Most authors avoid excessive "accentification" (new word; use it, love it) for this reason. The goal of every writer is to engage the reader. The moment the reader has to stop and re-read something, you've started to lose them. The same applies to writing in a MUSH. Our own fun hinges on being entertaining to others. So consider the advice most of those authors use when writing their stories: Don't overdo it.

This isn't to say there is no room for using accents. But the main thing is to keep them legible and comprehensible. But how to distinguish the accent without constantly narrating that the character is Cockney, Scottish, etc.? After all, a simple form of Cockney can look a lot like an American Southern accent when typed out.

The answer is simple, but may require a bit of research on your part: Slang. The use of words and phrases distinctive to a given culture or dialect do far more to bring the sound of that accent to life than any number of apostrophes or letter substitutions, and it will make your character sound much more authentic. After all, no American southerner would ever call his hat a "titfer", any more than a cockney would call a group of his friends "all y'all".

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