I began writing this as an instruction notecard for an online roleplay game set in the world of Harry Potter. It was intended as a guide for players who want to learn how to sound more authentically British in the things they say. However, it struck me that a list like this may be interesting and/or useful to a much wider audience; especially if they are of a stateside alliegance (If I’m wrong in this, bugger off).
This is written especially with American, European or other wordly players in mind! Here are some suggestions for improving the way your character speaks 🙂
You should have worked out by now where your character is from within the British Isles, or Ireland. Where you are from makes a big difference to how your character will speak, beyond the accent. You might find it interesting to explore local slang information on the internet – the less understandable, the better!
That said there are a few general things you will want to include in your character’s vocabulary.
Why say you’re Irish?
You live an ocean away
and always have done.
People are stupid
you should get used to this fact
Sweaty man in gym
I hope you’ll wipe that machine
before I use it.
You there English girl
will you ever stop moaning
you sound like you’re French.
1:0 to the French
Today, I worked at my city’s most haunted library. It’s located in the old Washington village some way out of town, in a house which was converted into a library quite a few years ago. It’s literally just a few yards from Washington Old Hall (see above), the ancestral home of the family of George Washington (yes, that George Washington), and also just over the road from a rather resplendent church.
I’ve heard so many stories about this tiny library before that it was not without a little amount of morbid curiosity that I went to work this morning. Last summer, someone swore to me that she had been on her own upstairs in the non-fiction section when she heard the floorboards creak; as if someone was walking over them. Then, she heard a loud metallic ring, as if someone was dragging something along the length of the cast iron radiator. Of course, there was no one there.
Apparently, a medium visited the building a while back and said that she had sensed an old man, sitting on a chair in the office. Another colleague even swears he was tapped on the shoulder from behind, and turned to see no one there. This phantom is allegedly the ghost of a man who worked in local studies, and which has also on occasion graced the local pub two doors up. Most of this was related to me by my co-worker, who happily told me that she herself had not seen a ghost, but admitted that ‘it does feel spooky up there sometimes’.
[Scene – The Tower of Orthanc. Saruman is using his palantir to make a much needed clothing purchase, but is having some problems. He paces around impatiently. Cheesy music fills the chamber.]
Music: – Oh! won’t you come back to me, my love, the mushrooms are getting cold. The days are so blue, I’m missing you, and the pipeweed is growing mould. Oh! –
Auto-voice: – I am sorry, all of our palantiri are busy at present. Please hold, your call is important to us. –
[Saruman looks up at this in expectation, but rolls his eyes as the music resumes. Some minutes later, a splutter is heard on the line, and he rushes to the palantir.]
Salesperson: Hello, Lothlorien Robemakers! My name is Ailawen! How may I help you today?
Saruman: Hello, I would like to make an order please.