A recent discussion with my husband had me thinking about pork and beans.
Growing up in the South, I never used or heard used (at least not in my house) the term "baked beans."
We always said "pork and beans" - even if there was no pork in there - which there usually wasn't - or just one itty bitty little slab of salt pork or some weird fat-looking thing like they put in the top of Campbell's Pork and Beans. (And btw, we pronounced it "porkenbeans" - like it was one word.)
It made me realize how easily we let our own ear slip into our writing.
In Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia, there is a line:
She cussed at me and threw a can of pork and beans clear across the room.
I never would have written: threw a can of baked beans.
Yesterday I was listening to country western music on the radio.
There is a song by Sara Evans called When You Were Cheating.
It goes like this:
How do you like that furnished room
The bed, the chair, the table?
The tv picture comes and goes,
Too bad you don't have cable.
How do you like that paper plate?
And those pork 'n beans your eatin'
Maybe you should have thought about that...when you were cheating
So, I guess it's a Southern thing?
Or is it just me?
At any rate, I think it's important to stay in touch with your natural ear.