Thursday, March 10, 2022

Quote of the Day (Raymond Chandler, on His Deliberate Use of Slang)

“I had to learn American just like a foreign language. To use it I had to study it and analyze it. I’m an intellectual snob who happens to have a fondness for the American vernacular largely because I grew up on Latin and Greek. As a result, when I use slang, solecisms, colloquialisms, snide talk or any kind of off-beat language, I do it deliberately. The literary use of slang is a study in itself. I've found that there are only two kinds that are any good: slang that has established itself in the language and slang that you make up yourself. Everything else is apt to be passe before it gets into print.” — Mystery novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter Raymond Chandler (1888–1959), letter to Alex Burris, Mar. 18, 1949, in Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler, edited by Frank MacShane (1981)

No comments: