I thought today about the differences between people, and especially the differences in speech.
For instance, is the upcoming season (in the Northern Hemisphere) fall or autumn? Perhaps both?
A lot depends on the region where one lives.
When I moved, as a child, from the east to the west part of the country, I soon learned that the “rubbers” I wore on my feet when it rained, were called “boots”. (When I grew up, I learned that “rubbers” are an entirely different thing)
And a “rubber” that corrected pencil marks was called an “eraser”.
“Potatoes” and “spuds” and “cookies” and “biscuits”.
This latter is a difference between North America and the UK.
In the UK, “sausages” are “bangers” and the “hood” of a vehicle is a “bonnet”.
A “truck” here, is a “lorry” over there.
As a teenager, I was so critical of my mother’s speech. If she used the “wrong” word or the “wrong” pronunciation. Of course, I got over that behavior and attitude when I became an adult.
And of course, I’d give anything now to have her back, mistakes in speech and all, because we do miss our parents when they have passed on.
So I guess my point is this – as a writer, words can be used to set a scene and to develop and flesh out a character. In writing, the “right” word can make a big difference.
In speech, the differences between people are not so important. That is one of the things that makes us human.