All terms

What is Vernacular?

The everyday language spoken by a particular group of people.

Vernacular: Connecting Communities through Language

The term vernacular refers to the everyday language spoken by a particular group of people. It is the language that connects individuals within a community and expresses their unique culture, beliefs, and values.

In creative writing, the use of vernacular is a powerful tool for capturing the authentic voice of a character or narrator. By incorporating regional or cultural dialects, slang, and speech patterns, the writer can create a vivid sense of place and identity.

But vernacular is more than just a literary technique. It reflects the diverse ways that different communities use language to communicate and express themselves. Tracing the origins and evolution of vernacular can reveal fascinating insights into the cultural, social, and historical contexts that shape a particular language.

Whether we are writers, grammar enthusiasts, or language learners, the study of vernacular provides a rich and rewarding lens through which to explore the complexity of human communication and expression.

Vernacular in Literature: Two Examples of Authentic Voice

Vernacular is a powerful tool writers use to capture the authentic voice of their characters or narrators, often enhancing the sense of place and identity.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Huck's colloquial language and distinctive dialect reflect his uneducated background and make him a distinctive and memorable narrator, capturing the complex social and cultural landscape of pre-Civil War society.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Janie's voice in Their Eyes Were Watching God combines elements of Southern colloquialism with African American Vernacular English, creating a unique and expressive style that reflects her character's journey towards self-discovery and empowerment.