Language as an element of identity is of particular interest to me as a storyteller because many of the characters in my novels speak in regional dialects. There is as much difference between Sherlock Holmes’s vocabulary and his Cockney associate Mary Ann Monk’s as there is between Reverend Underhill’s upper middle class tongue and Ninepin the flash-palavering newsboy’s. We are to a great extent defined by how we speak. Our individual language is a product of our environment, our family, our chosen associates, our culture, our personality, and it’s through our language that we interpret the world in which we live.
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