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Jan. 10th, 2017


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Jan. 1st, 2017



Keeping schtum

Does the expression "to keep schtum" have any particular regional, class, or age associations? I understand it to mean keep something secret and be synonymous with "to keep mum."

Thanks, and happy new year!

Nov. 13th, 2016



Clothing Questions

Hello! I have 2 questions today around clothing...

1) Is there any difference in British English between jacket and coat? Can they be used interchangeably or is one more standard or do they mean different things?

What I'm really hoping for is the right word for what Harry might wear outside during fall/winter in London.

2) Sweaters?! Is "sweater" never used in the UK? Is it always a jumper or pullover instead? I've been trying to figure this out, but it seems like maybe "sweater" is something starting to be used?? Is this true or would it be very bizarre for someone to refer to that clothing item as a sweater? Is there a specific difference between a jumper and a pullover?

And is there any difference between what different genders wear? For example, Harry and Hermione... jumper/pullover/sweater... do these terms indicate anything anything about which one a man might be likely to wear vs a woman?

Lastly, what would this specific item of clothing be called: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5057/5574565005_6ee0d05522_z.jpg

Thanks, all!

EDIT: Thanks, everyone :) I think I've figured out everything I need to keep my lil wizards cozy this season. Thanks!!

Nov. 5th, 2016



"Taking Candy From a Baby"

There's an American expression (a cliche by now) used to indicate that some action has been ridiculously easy -- "it's like stealing/taking candy from a baby."

Is there a British version of this saying? Or might HP characters use the version above?


ETA -- Sorted! Thank you all so much.

Sep. 4th, 2016

h/d black&grey pencil


thumbs up

An American way to give a positive response without speaking would be to hold up a thumb, with the other fingers all folded over. It's called "giving a thumbs up." Here it is a simple way to say 'yes.' It doesn't have a lot of cultural overlay.

Do Brits do this?


Sep. 3rd, 2016

khalulu, kanji



When "redundant" is used in British English to mean laid off from a job, is it possible to just say a person is redundant ("you're redundant now"), or is it always the person has been made/is being made/will be made redundant?


ETA: Okay, "made redundant" it is, thanks everyone!

Aug. 23rd, 2016


goose bumps or goose pimples

You know the danger of being too helpful, right?  You keep getting asked for more help.

Would you say "goose bumps" or "goose pimples?"

Aug. 22nd, 2016



Hello All!

I'm beta reading my first Harry Potter fic, and I just have a quick spelling question--stylized or stylised?  I have my spellchecker set to British English, but it didn't catch this.  Is this an either/or, or would it definitely be spelled with the -ised ending in British English?  The spell checker also didn't catch realized and suggest realised instead, so same question there.  It did catch a few missed American spellings like -or- instead of -our- and one "L" vs. two, but not these two with the -ise as opposed to the -ize.  Before I suggest the author change them, I want to make sure the should be changed.  She did a really good job with British spellings most places, just a couple American spellings that slipped in.

Thank you to everyone who replied for all your help and suggestions.  I believe I've replied to everyone, but the way it displays comments and replies makes it hard for me to be sure I didn't accidentally miss a comment and not say thank you.

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