jane austen character

I’m cheating a little bit today by simply pointing you to this article about Jane Austen’s word choices. From the article:

“Mary Margolies DeForest and Eric Johnson believed that Austen varied the density of Latinate words in her characters’ speeches to stamp them as ignorant or educated, emotional or self-possessed, friendly or formal, honest or pretentious, lower class or upper class, female or male, and devised a mechanism to analyse this aspect of her work.”

The authors argue that most of our English language comes from either Latinate (intellectual) or Germanic (physical) roots, and that Austen picked words from whichever derivation she needed to show moods and characterizations in her novels. Take time to  read this article.

The only question you won’t definitively get answered is: Was Jane Austen a genius, or did she do this intuitively? Either way, she is an authoress of distinction!

Jane Austen, Watercolour and pencil portrait b...

Jane Austen, Watercolour and pencil portrait by her sister Cassandra, 1810 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WORD NERD CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK: What is your favorite Jane Austen novel? Or have you ever read one–if not, would you admit it in a public forum like this? 😉 Mine is Pride and Prejudice, as I am absolutely enthralled at the way the themes of pride and prejudice are woven through the books without so much as one peep of a lecture to her readers.

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