|In Celebration of the 202nd anniversary of the
publishing of Sense and Sensibility
30 October, 2013
|Go for a long walk, visit friends, and Talk Like
the first novel she wrote, Sense and Sensibility was the
first Jane Austen published. She initially called it
Elinor and Marianne, and wrote it in an epistolary mode,
but rewrote it in a novel format, as the pretense of
an entire story being told in letters was no longer in
fashion, and "without anything of nature and
probability in it". All tolled, Jane Austen
published four novels in her lifetime: Sense and Sensibility, Pride
and Prejudice, Mansfield Park , and Emma. Two more
novels were published posthumously; Persuasion, and
|How To Talk Like Jane Austen
|* Find the Talk Like Jane Austen Word of the Day
“I like him very much. He gives me the idea of a very amiable young man, only too diffident to be so agreeable as he might be.”
2) Pretending Love
1)" What amiable young men!"
2) "Lay amiable siege to the honesty of this Ford's wife: use your art of wooing"
||If someone should
make a disparaging comment pertaining to your anachronistic
verbiage, you can feign confusion, as the word did not
appear in print until 1816
|(To) Catch One's Eye
attributed to Jane Austen in 1813. First instance I have
found of the phrase: "Mrs. Palmer's eye was now caught by
the drawings which hung round the room" Sense &
Sensibility, ch 19
tenderly- first in print in Emma in 1815
||You may have one
as of 1806, but you won't go to a Cocktail party until
“ I shall think with tenderness and delight on his beautiful and smiling countenance and interesting manner until a few years have turned him into an ungovernable, ungracious fellow.”
“I fear that wheat will not be cheap this year and every other necessity of life enormously dear “
||First appeared in
1813, followed closely by:
"God Rot". First appeared in 1815
||An exclamation in
the form of a cross word- coined in 1815 by Miss Jane
Austen's beloved Walter Scott
||As a verb.
You may fake your death, or fake a Rembrandt, but to call it
a fake, you will have to wait until 1827
||Courtesy of Jane
Austen by way of Sense
and Sensibility, 1811
|In||one is never
on one’s way to London, Bath or one’s brother’s estate in
Kent, as In one’s way"
“The Miss Maitlands are both prettyish,”
"It was stupidish"
admissible after 1811
Another word coined by Jane Austen.
“I have been able to give a considerable improvement of dignity to the cap, which was before too nidgetty to please me.”
|Numbers||not “twenty four”, but “four and twenty”|
|Only||use instead of
“Only think of the Marquis of Granby being dead.”
|Own||use instead of
"I own I think our political horizon still lowers"
vulgar- first in print by Jane Austen's hand in 1801
of action to attain some end
first used by Jane Austen in Mansfield Park
|Scruple||To doubt, to have
We have talked of it again this morning, and I am convinced that if you can make it suit in other respects you need not scruple on his account.
health, not unhealthily fleshy as it now implies
“Louisa's figure is very much improved; she is as stout again as she was.”
severe in 1809 "I have a terrific headache", but it
won't mean excellent until 1888
||As of 1812,
Other Helpful Hints
Always refer to your close
family members as "my" mother, father, sister, brother
even when speaking to one of them. For example,
Elizabeth might speak to Jane saying, "My mother has been
nervous the whole day." (Whereas we contemporary English
speakers would most likely say "our" mother. (Note the use
of "the whole day" rather than all day long or a more
No Contractions- "Don't you think this an agreeable morning for a walk?" Would be "Do not you think this an agreeable morning for a walk?"
Remember that in Austen talk, "morning" continues until one goes to dress for dinner. "Afternoon" is rare (very low frequency) in the novels. In Emma, "morning" occurs 111 times while "afternoon" occurs only 6. Often "afternoon" makes reference to the weather.
A clear articulation, a tempered intonation, and in a moderate key,
are essentials in the voice of an accomplished female"
The Mirror of Graces
Jane Austen Society
of North America
Dr Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language
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