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Grammar Weirdness

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#1 vcgrossmann


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Posted 04 July 2017 - 12:07 AM

So, my novel is set 7000 years in the future. The mutant remains of the human race have recently liberated themselves after 3000 years of slavery. During their enslavement, they were unable to pass down the stories, values and other pillars that once formed the foundation of human society. Among the institutions lost or changed by the passage of time, the rules of grammar have changed or evaporated altogether. The main character Grandik speaks in a particularly strange way, using fragmented speech, non-words (liquidish, drunkthought) and other verbal peculiarities. these quirks of language appear throughout the text. 


My concern is that they may appear to be typos or unintentional grammar errors of an uneducated boob. Should I address this in my query letter? I don't want to sound like I'm apologizing for my writing, but I also don't want someone to stop reading at the first made up word. Any thoughts on this? Let my writing stand for itself or explain that I know proper grammar but I'm choosing not to use it for a reason?


I'm really stressing over this and I'm interested to hear what you all think.



#2 mwsinclair


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Posted 05 July 2017 - 11:23 AM

My first thought is that the language should not be a focal point of the query; the story is. But it probably makes sense to include in the query that rules of grammar are different in the world of the tenth millennium AD. Your readers, however, are from the third millennium and need to be able to read the opening chapters, but you'll presumably have a method that trains them to understand the latter language (because it basically won't be English any more).

#3 kdschar


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Posted 12 July 2017 - 05:21 PM

Would you mind sharing a dialogue-heavy excerpt? I think it would be easier to give you an answer if we could see what it truly looks like. 

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#4 Srsweek


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Posted 23 July 2017 - 01:05 PM

I taught writing and grammar for many years, and yes tense and point of view make a difference. Clock Work Orange  would be a good read for you. I am off-put by alien language unless the context is so clear that their can make no mistake. However, in your examples, I was able to interpret pretty well. I would not give examples in your query, but indicate the language is altered to fit the new culture. Steve Sweel

#5 Michi MacMichael

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 12:39 PM

As long as your narrative text is written well, the spoken or inner dialog will be seen for what it is.  Consider Yoda for example.

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