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Feb. 24th, 2016



(no subject)

I know the term “supply teacher” is used in the UK for what in the US would be called a “substitute teacher.” In the story I’m writing, someone hires a barman to fill in for one who is taking an unscheduled day off. (If this scenario happens to be somewhat unlikely I’m not really concerned, though if it’s somehow startling or next to impossible, please let me know.)

Could the barman who’s hired in this situation be referred to as a “substitute barman” or should the working class Muggle Yorkshireman who’s talking about this use another term?

ETA: Thanks so much, everyone. You're all so wonderfully informative.

Feb. 7th, 2016



how long exactly may a class be going on?

hello there,
I was wondering about class- length and break - length and usage in Britain school systems (and if that would apply to hogwarts and in what way?)

here were I live depending on the grade and the type of school you are in, one class can last from 45 min up to 55 min (45 is usually for elementary school) and 50-55min are usual classes at middle to high school through there it might depend on what type of school) between each class there is a 5min break here (for some classes, who have to switch rooms the brake is just that: room-switching) though such classes are rare and most of our classes stay put and only the teachers go around (exceptions are chemistry, physics and biology in high school because we have some practical stuff in those classes)

we have double classes too- starting in elementary with PE and core- classes in the 2ed half of middle school education all the way through high school. in double classes most teachers skip breaks (through they are aware that they are doing it at their own risk because children's brains just shut down) but there should be breaks - so we are allowed to drink and if you can manage it without disturbing and drawing notice to it eat in class (you have to be sneaky through).

compared to this is the British system very different?

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?

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