Apostrophe abuse is a common malady in RP circles. When discovering our character’s voices, very often we discover their accent, affectations and dialects. First we start with dropping the ‘g’ and next you realize, you’re spelling words phonetically based on your characters regional dialect. There becomes “thar.” “Lord” becomes “Laird.” Curse words are used as punctuation marks. Some cases of apostrophe abuse are so advanced that every day writin’ skills are fouckin’ effected.
Accents are a fantastic way of communicating a character’s history and personality without telegraphing this information. They are by no means the only way of doing this; however, they are a popular method of RP on the server. Hell, there are even mods that will change your speech patterns in certain channels.
A couple of pointers on accents:
1) Stay consistent.
Remember Kevin Costner in Robin Hood? He could not maintain his English accent scene to scene. Try to stay consistent with your character’s accent when you RP. You may make changes to the accent–for instance, Bricu’s “You” turned into “Yeh”–and this is acceptable as long as it fits the characters overall voice.
Anna researched Aely’s accent before RPing with her. I know of one character/Guild Leader who watches Trainspotting on a semi-regular basis to keep his accent fresh (I suspect he also reads some Irvine Welsh too).
One should also research what is the common accent within the context of ones regular RPers. Of course accents can vary between regions (Bricu, Aely and Tarq, while similar, have major differences in their speaking patters), there should be some consistency between all of them.
3) Be prepared to say it OOCly
Be ready to translate what you wrote in an OOC Channels. Reading all of your apostrophes and creatively spelled words does help develop your character’s voice; however, just as in real life, sometimes an accent makes communication difficult. Just accept the fact that some folks will not be able to read what you’re writing as easily as others.
Those are my Three Rules. I’m always looking for more ideas for improving accents–so share your ideas!