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Jan. 3rd, 2016

h/d black&grey pencil


taxis, london, 1998

Harry is going back to Hogwarts for his 8th year! We're all so proud of him! ;) How might he get a taxi from Grimmauld Place to King’s Cross station? (Obviously there are other ways for a wizard to travel, but in this fic, he needs a Muggle ride. :)

So, in the USA, one might:
call a car service on the telephone and arrange for them to arrive at your home.
step outside and hail a cab from the sidewalk with a raised arm.
walk to a taxi stand and get the first cab in line, or wait until you are first in line!

Those are the only ways I know of that a Muggle could get a cab in the USA in 1998. And not all of those ways would be available in every place. Nowadays, of course, one could add Uber and Lyft, but those weren't available then. ;)

So, how would a Muggle catch a cab in London in 1998? Hermione will explain it all to Harry, so he will know just what to do. (When you tell me, that is. ;)

ETA: Oh! I need to know whether or not a cab driver would ever be called a "cabbie." If not, was there any other informal title I could use? Or is it just "taxi driver" and nothing else? :)

Dec. 26th, 2015




Was the verb "bung" still being used in 2010 by people of about thirty years of age?

Can "bung" be used in the passive voice? For example, would this sentence be possible? "It can't just be bunged into the bin."

Thanks for your help.

Nov. 24th, 2015



(no subject)

Would any -- or all -- of these be correct?

He was ignoring Charlie as often as he remembered, but just now he'd forgotten.
He was ignoring Charlie as often as he remembered to, but just now he’d forgotten.
He was ignoring Charlie as often as he remembered to do, but just now he’d forgotten.
He was ignoring Charlie as often as he remembered to do so, but just now he’d forgotten.

Thanks in advance for your help.

ETA: Thanks, everyone! You guys rock!

Nov. 21st, 2015

h/d black&grey pencil


slang for angry

If Draco made me angry, I would say he had pissed me off. I might say he'd narked me off, too. I am guessing this isn't the way a Brit would say it, but I searched through the tagged entries for a while and could not find anything about this idiom. Help?

Oct. 30th, 2015


schoolkid use of 'lie in' and 'it's a date'


Would 11 year olds (Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Severus Potter) use 'have a lie in' and 'it's a date' or are these phrases used more by adults?

For that matter, have I used 'it's a date' correctly in the following exchange?

‘It was, too,’ Scorpius agreed. ‘How about exploring the castle today and playing Gobstones after curfew?’

‘Brill. It’s a date.

Thanks so much. If you see anything else that's a bit funny/odd in what I've written (not just the dialogue - I mean this whole post), please don't hesitate to tell me!

Oct. 19th, 2015


American or British expression?

Hello everybody.

I stumbled by an expression in my beta work:

I need some glue, paper, string, and all that jazz to make a kite.

I was wondering is the expression in red is American or British. I think it's more American. I'm brit-picking so I should tell the author to change it if in BrE is not used so much. Right?

Sep. 25th, 2015


cornrows, plaits and braids

Hi! Three small, interrelated questions:

1. What I as an American know as "cornrows" (very fine braids tight against the scalp – images here), are they known by the same name in the UK, or is there a different term?

2. If you wanted to refer in a general way to the type of hairstyle of which cornrows are one subset, would you talk about "plaits" or "braids"? I know UK generally says "plaits" where US says "braids"...or am I wrong and it varies by context? Would you describe cornrows as a type of "plaits" or a type of "braids"?

3. How common would this hairstyle have been for a British child of African-Caribbean descent during the HP canon era (i.e., mid-1990s)? I have an OC who's a Black British girl about 7 years old, and I plan to have her wear this hairstyle, but not if that would seem anachronistic. (I remember cornrows as popular during my US childhood/teenage years of roughly the same period, but I don't want to assume the UK was the same without checking.)

Thank you in advance, you amazing and resourceful people!

Sep. 22nd, 2015


"He hadn't" or "He'd not"

Hello all!  I've got yet another question.  Yes, another one...

Would you say "He'd not..." or "He hadn't...?"  Or are both used equally, but "he'd not" in more formal situations and "he hadn't" in more informal?  In America, I'd only say "he hadn't," but I see "he'd not" (or similar) in British writings a lot.  Does one sound more like what Harry would say and the other more like Draco's voice?

Sep. 20th, 2015

khalulu, kanji


chant templates/formulas at protest demonstrations?

When there are loud street marches with people chanting in protest or on behalf of some cause, are there certain standard types of slogan, almost like a formula or template, that get used a lot in the UK? I am thinking of ones in the US for example, where you might get "2,4,6,8" and then a line that rhymes with "-ate", or "What do we want?" "________" "When do we want it?" "Now!" Using rhythm and rhyme is typical ("Not the Church, Not the state, Women must decide our fate" or "We're here, We're queer, we're fabulous, get used to us!" or going way way back, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many children did you kill today?") I am considering writing a raucous street demonstration scene but I don't know if these kind of chants would work. Actually, I don't know how common it is to have loud protest marches there, for that matter! Any advice is welcome!

ETA: Thank you so much, everyone, for your help! Very interesting - and a lot of other people thought so too, since LJ informs me that this was in the top 25 most popular entries for the day!

Sep. 18th, 2015

snape default


What to call Old Students?

I'm writing a fic in which a character refers to the old students of Hogwarts - in this particular case an all-female group.

What would they be called? Would one speak of graduates, or is that an Americanism?
Old Girls? Old Pupils? Alumni, or, in this case, alumnae?

Thank you so much for helping out!

ETA As always, you've solved the problem in record time. Thank you, everyone!

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