I am currently reading the English novel Forrest Gump and this is the first time I am reading a novel using my second language. I realized that the author is writing somehow different from the English I learned at school, for example he spells wile for while, nex for next, sposed for supposed, cept for except, axe for ask.

My questions are:

  1. Is this grammatically correct?
  2. Since this is the only English novel I have finished so far, is this style of writing common in English literature?
  3. What is author's intention for using spelling like this?
  • 1
    Is that in reported speech, or the narrative? Many authors have their characters speak in a dialect, which is conveyed by unusual spelling. In BrE, many natives speakers say "axe" for "ask", especially in the past tense: "I axed him ..." and sometimes "I arst him ..." because the consonants in asked are tricky. Aug 17, 2020 at 17:28
  • 4
    I've never read the novel, but it needs to be noted that in the movie Forrest Gump is a person who had significant mental deficiencies and often talks in a rather stilted and somewhat illiterate style. And many of the other characters are from rural/lower class environments and speak colloquial dialects.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 17, 2020 at 17:35
  • 1
    Literature is not always about being steadfast to language and grammar; its cardinal purpose is to faithfully mirror life and the characters in their variegated forms. The protagonist of the novel you are reading is an imbecile; It would have been a travesty of art if, for instance, the writer had him speak like William Jennings Bryan Jr. and act like an imbecile.
    – user392935
    Aug 17, 2020 at 18:29
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Are "kinda", "sorta", "oughta" and "sposta" acceptable in formal writing? Aug 17, 2020 at 18:44
  • 1
    You have a good eye if you noticed these nuances, because the writer wants to bring the characters to life as they are. You are supposed to notice. Aug 17, 2020 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


nex for next, sposed for supposed, cept for except, axe for ask
As noted in the comments, these are ways the author of the novel uses to represent how the narrator (Forrest Gump) pronounces things.

  • 1
    Just to add this is a fairly common thing for writers to do when writing from the point of view of someone with a strong accent or dialect. Aug 17, 2020 at 18:20

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