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If I spell doing as doin' then how should I spell doings?
Would it simply be doin's?

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For a start, I would not phonetically spell doing as doin' - the g is pronounced, at least in BrE. –  TrevorD Jun 21 '13 at 0:33
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@TrevorD you may be in a minority. –  terdon Jun 21 '13 at 0:47
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@TrevorD Do you perhaps mean that the suffix -ing is pronounced with a /g/ in some BrE dialects? It was my impression that RP is /ɪŋ/, and that /ɪn/, standard in the 18th century, is still common colloquially in all regions. –  StoneyB Jun 21 '13 at 1:02
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The answer is Yes, that's the way it's done. However, this is not phonetic spelling. There is such a thing as phonetic spelling, and this is not it. This is technically called "Eye Dialect". –  John Lawler Jun 21 '13 at 1:28
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@JohnM.Landsberg Doings are what dogs leave on pavements, among other things. –  Andrew Leach Jun 21 '13 at 5:42
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1 Answer 1

How you doin'? [Friends] Ha!


I would distinguish the usage of "doin" from "doin's". The context in which "doin's" is the word to use is likely to be much different, and much less frequent, than "doin'", which will come up in casual conversation with some frequency, as with - "Watcha doin'?" The usage of "doin's" is likely to be entirely unrelated.


'Doin's would often be dialect, as with literature. The best known example is possibly from "The Turmoil" (1915), by Booth Tarkington.

"Ev'ything got look spick an' span fo' the big doin's to-night," Bibbs's guide explained, chuckling. "Yessuh, we got big doin's to-night! Big doin's!"

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1098/1098-h/1098-h.htm


Certainly, it shouldn't be difficult to find numerous examples from works in the pickaninny dialect.

"Like her pap, all big noise and no big doin's."

"Imitation of Life", Fannie Hurst

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/691242.Imitation_of_Life


However, I surely do not think usage need be racial caricature. One ought be careful, though, to ensure that usage captures a character's voice, avoiding the perception that it is contrived, or otherwise forced.

"Big doin's" is in the language as a rural, country expression.

"Ham Nation", "Big Doin's in Starkville"

[Oops. I don't have the reputation to use this third link:]

youtu.be/m-NLr4fZ4sI


I reckon those examples ought help. I'm fixin' to chow down the wife's fine cookin' here in a bit, so got to go. Catch y'all later.

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+1 Good research –  TrevorD Jul 10 '13 at 23:57
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