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Tales of a Forgotten God

A...curious question; Lisps in writing

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Is write something that's both eye-meltingly cute and secretly somewhat perverse at the same time? >.> I'm beginning to think writing a babyfur novel has its fine share of oxymoronic situations, because I've already done it [i]twice[/i], I think, and I [i]still[/i] plan on putting the writings in question into my story. I mean, I can't just [i]not[/i] do it, now, not after all the work that went into it. Everything I write feels like a part of my soul is attached to's even better because I'm proud of what it is that I write.


Now, then. I'm sure a lot of the writers here who have written some type of infantilism-based story (well, particularly those in the *B/*F (AB, TB, BF, DF) genre) have at some point used, or at least witnessed another writer using, the babyish lisp. The one thing I haven't seen yet is a grammatically correct and sound usage of infant- and toddler-speak, which makes it very hard for me in a manner of ways, and not just because it's a little difficult to read.

Then how so?

It's very complicated to establish a grammatically correct sense of using lisps and speaking mannerisms when you don't see anyone else noticeably doing it properly; not to say the way it's sometimes done is wrong, mind you. But onto the topic at hand...I'm getting fairly close to the stage in my story (which will be in the very beginning of Chapter 4) where I'll begin to make use of toddler-speak. No, no, it's not necessarily Aeonis who'll be doing it, but another cute little Enian critter of mine whom all of my readers will be getting familiar with -- an adorable li'l diapered pup, and you'll know who I'm talking about once you see him. :3

The thing I've noticed about using a babyish form of speaking is that the grammatical undertakings necessary for an endeavor such as that are very unique to me, in the sense that it's something I've never really tried to perfect in terms of grammar until a little while ago, and it's certainly a type of dialect I'm not used to accurately reading or directly using for myself. In the role-play sessions that I perform with my FTT brothers on occasion, where the grammar/diction constraints are generally not as strict or overbearing -- basically, where I'm not feeling pressed or absolutely obliged to do everything as neatly and perfectly as possible, because it's not like the impression I produce by doing something wrong will count against me -- there's both room for improvising and [i]practicing[/i] my technique for typing out the lisp as accurately as possible, but without fear of mistakes. To see it actively flow as the stories my brother (Kin) and I create progress gives me a very good feel as to what I'm doing right and wrong -- if it doesn't feel good or flow properly, I change it, improve it, and move on.

To actually put it into my real work, which shall be read and challenged by the judgmental eyes of this forum community and one other? Now [i]that[/i] will be a treat.


  1. Dawes's Avatar
    I say what I am about to say because I find myself easy to express in your presence, Aeonis, and that we think quite alike when it comes to our fictional interests.

    Who I may offend, however, with my colorful expression of this, I apologize to in advance.

    I have a great threshold for being able to accept and read inflected dialect and words and sentences specifically intended to be grammatically incorrect or sounded out the way they're spoken. The one type of dialect, however, that makes me want to stab my eyeballs out and burn them on a hot spit is infant-speak. We all know it well; the "R"s replaced with "W"s, the babbly baby bumble-lipped junk, the almost intelligible and horribly obnoxious anti-language that it is! Although you might be reaching for something entirely different, I find that every time I even read a sentence that begins to hint of this physique, I usually wish death on the writer in a horrible and violent way.

    I guess from that little tirade above, you can tell that I don't like baby-talk.

    My theory is this: Some writers can write dialects. Others can't. If it can't be done, then that's perfectly okay. I try not to do it myself. A dialect, however, should never be something that stops the flow of the story. When I read dialect and don't know what it is at a glance, it screws up what you're writing -- it drives a stake right through the heart of the sequence. I know it does it in my writing, which is why I don't do it.

    So what do I do? I obey a self-coined: No matter the language, dialect, or the way it's spoken, it is what the reader gets from it that matters. May I give an example? Let's take a character named ... well, let's name her Pearl.

    "Sho' enawf, hawney, dem grits is good grits! Iffen yadone mine, I'ma haff me anudder bowlaw'em," said Pearl, reaching over the table to scoop out a gracious amount onto her plate.

    Or, for the sake of the reader, I might choose to tell rather than show.

    Pearl's voice was heavy with her Southern roots -- it was an accent that no matter her education, still awakened in her when she ate dinner with her country-bred family. "Sure enough, honey, them is good grits! If you don't mind, I'm gonna have me another bowl of them," said Pearl, reaching over the table to scoop out a gracious amount onto her plate.

    Now mind you, I don't necessarily stick with grammatical necessities, just to give Pearl a bit of culture reminiscence, but I make the words easier to read. Instead of showing her accents, I've told about it -- it's one of the few times that I believe an audience should be told rather than shown. This does present a problem for someone reading the book who might not be familiar with that kind of accent, but you can also disseminate more description as to how she speaks as we learn more about the character.

    I compare it to this: In a book where characters might not be speaking English, we still write it in English, even though we're told that they're speaking in another tongue. Why? Because we write to be understood, not to be misinterpreted. Simply said, accents come across better when they're heard and not when they're written. Sometimes, they can even be indicative of class or social standing, but if they get in the way of our ability to understand the character, then they shoot themselves in the foot.

    Again, these are just my beliefs! My suggestion? If you plan to include a dialect (in this case, infantile-speak), do it sparingly. Children in my books, for example, sometimes speak with stutters and more simple words, but they're never written any different than those of the adults, because I still want a reader to understand what they're saying. Kate Chopin was one of the few culture-specific writers that ever pulled off mangled language to befit a dialect that I could read without stopping.

    I wish you the best of luck on your quest to find the perfect mixture of dialect and readability, Aeonis, and I'm quite sure that in the end, we'll not be disappointed!
  2. Cen Aeonis's Avatar
    As ironic as it may sound, the second example you provided for me is incredibly hard for me to visualize in terms of being told how she talks and having to apply it to the words she says. The one other thing that also concerns me is whether or not the reader will remember that that's how a particular character speaks. For me, visual aid is sometimes necessary in keeping tabs with dialect; being told one time and being expected to remember it is not enough, but everyone is different in that regard, and I don't question that. I'll agree that, if I were to apply speaking mannerisms, I would have to ensure fluid, understandable sentences, which could be a challenge in and of itself.

    The simplest way I can say this is, I feel some readers may need to witness, concretely, that the lisp is applied, and to be informed of it once and then be expected to remember later just doesn't seem to be in the best interest for what I'm hoping to achieve. True, if they were constantly exposed to that character, the readers may be more inclined to recollect dialect, but my story doesn't always move in a straight line -- there are times when the focus of the plot will shift from Aeonis onto another scene of events that have some effect on the plotline -- and to add onto the list, not all of my characters at around the toddler age speak with the accent (for various reasons), thus it would just become utterly confusing if I forced the reader to remember the speech patterns for seven or eight different characters.

    That said, I've found a good way, however, to hopefully pull off the babyish lisp in a manner that can be understood. I've never agreed entirely with replacing certain letters with certain other letters; "R"s and "L"s with "W"s, while used, is used sparingly and only in select, specific cases. As well, I believe some words under the influence of the infantile dialect go through a process where letters are removed to mirror the slurred nature of the speech. One example of such a thing:

    [quote]"Wha's w'ong?"[/quote]

    I should note that there's still time for me to revise this method of using dialect in my story. I'll likely bring the subject up in a later journal entry for further discussion, and that's probably when I'll decide what course of action I'll take in regards to the matter.

    Thank you for your feedback, by the way. n.n - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.