How to Avoid Vernacular
Writing in vernacular is usually much easier than formal writing. To write in vernacular, all you have to do is imitate the way you naturally talk. Formal writing, though, takes some getting used to.
- Avoid contractions. Formal writing doesn’t use contractions (e.g. aren’t, won’t, she’s).
- Check your grammar. In vernacular, the grammar doesn’t have to be “textbook” correct, since everyday speech is often littered with grammatical errors that we don’t even notice. But in formal writing, the grammar must be spotless.
- Avoid slang. Slang has no place in formal writing. Before you submit, make sure you’ve eliminated slang terms.
When to Use Vernacular
How much vernacular should you use in a given piece of writing? It depends on what kind of writing it is:
In creative writing, of course, it’s up to you: you could write it in a highly vernacular style, even including text message abbreviations and all sorts of other informal terms. It just depends on what kind of feel you want for your story/poem.