eye dialect (eye-DY-uh-lekt) noun
Unusual or nonstandard spelling to represent an uneducated or youthful
speaker or to convey dialectal or colloquial speech.
Examples: wuz for was, enuff (enough), warez (wares),
peepul (people), Strine (Australian).
[First used in print by George Phillip Krapp (1872-1934) in The English
Language in America to denote spellings in which "the convention violated
is one of the eyes, not of the ear."]
"It's known as eye dialect, 'sur'.
"The student celebrating her graduation with the words `Yahoo I'm threw'
printed on her mortar-board cap (`Must be joking', May 17) and a critic's
strong disdain for the student's fracturing of the King's English
(`Graduate should have checked 'dictshunary',' May 20), was a cute cryptic
pun cast in a form known as eye dialect. Examples of eye dialect cuz for
cousin, sez for says, threw for through. Perhaps, if the word `threw' had
been shielded within quotations marks, the student's intent would have
been understood more readily. But, this would have robbed it of its
Richard Harris, Readers' Views, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Jun 3, 1998.
This week's theme: words about words.
If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do
well matters very much. -Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former first lady (1929-1994)
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