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18 January 2009 @ 11:13 pm
Some points of clarification ...  
Pursuant to the previous post.
1. If you as an author say that Harry had never seen such deep colors in a sky as he did that morning, I, personally, do not mind. If you have Hermione saying 'It's C-O-L-O-R', then I won't be the only one rolling my eyes at you to judge by yesterday's comments.

2. If you are posting to an archive that insists on British spelling, that's what you provide. Just as you would provide safe fics to the younger oriented archives and dodgy displays of man flesh to the pornier ones. If I ever turn to SPN-dom and they have an archive that demands it, I will be traveling and honoring with the best of them. But if it's just for our own ljs, then I think authors' choice is fine.

3. No one wants Americans to pretend to be British. It never ends well, and it means that some of the great fics of deep emotional resonance from people like Fray and Sansa, and Heathen's poignantly witty comics and Lil's lyrical art would never happen because the artists would all be too busy worrying about whether their characters were being stoic enough. This would be a disaster.

Or, even worse, it would mean more fics in which Draco Malfoy says 'I'm going nutters, you gobshite! What I wouldn't give for a Sainsbury's curry!' And nobody deserves that.

4. Though it would be lovely if overt Americanisms could be kept to a minimum. The obvious things … especially slang and companies. Needless to say, all of you whose work I read manage this very well, so if you have this popping up on your flist, it's something you already do. 

5. We all notice 'Mom'. We know Scholastic did it to you. This is why we have voodoo dolls of their CEO under construction. It would be a great favour if you could use Mum. And the pants/underpants/trousers issue can cause unintentional humour.

6. We do express emotion, just quietly, or with a degree of irony or self-deprecation. Harry is rather highly strung in canon, Hermione's propensity to flee to the girls' loos if she needs a cry is more typical. If the situation calls for absolute emotional honesty, then it is done very  privately and we joke about it later. As Lizzie says in Pride and Prejudice, ``It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.''

ETA: And, as Shiv points out, animals receive the full extent of our personal feelings. And more public displays of affection. Not  like that, you disturbing individual.

7. The whole aluminium issue was Humphry Davy's fault. And if minerals were held to the same nomenclature rules as plants, it would be alumium. Strange but true.

8. Horrifyingly, the Macquarie dictionary in Australia lists alright as an acceptable variant spelling, and not just for the adverbial form (which I could accept as an American variation functioning in the same way as altogether/all together). This is not all right, and if any of you know any Macquarie lexicographers, I strongly urge you to remove all alcohol from their persons as they have clearly partaken FAR too liberally. They also prefer fiord, which is obviously madness, over the elegant fjord.

9. Not that this applies to anyone on my flist, but droit de seigneur was NEVER an English concept, more Sumerian. Must learn to not read fic synopses on archives. Stick to the flist, it's a safe place!

10. The heatwave is coming back. Bleargh.
 
 
 
Shivshiv5468 on January 18th, 2009 01:01 pm (UTC)
Or, even worse, it would mean more fics in which Draco Malfoy says 'I'm going nutters, you gobshite! What I wouldn't give for a Sainsbury's curry!' And nobody deserves that.

No, be fair, there are some people who do deserve it. Oh yes.


Emotion is expressed to the dog also. One mustn't forget the dog.

Droit de seigneur is fun. And I've had a little bunny.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
Oh good god yes! Will edit!

*Shakes head* Can you at least make it a Scottish bunny where there is unreliable anecdotal provenance for the concept?
(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 18th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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Vaysh Swiftstorm: Draco_dovevaysh on January 18th, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
Droit de seigneur? You are talking ius prima noctis? in H/D? Which fic?

And I have you know that I did awful things, like sepnding the better parts of my work night on reading "Things That Change" (which despite everything is brilliant!) to satisfy my craving for bloody mpreg births.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
Sorry, V! I had to go to Wollongong to see a dear friend, and my brain has melted. The baby has been born, though, I am just writing the visiting scenes immediately afterwards, so not long ;-)

And yes, and it popped up in a description when I was having a look at sundry archives. I can't tell you what the fic was, because I ran screaming in the opposite direction. I suspect Hermione was involved, poor girl.
(no subject) - shiv5468 on January 18th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - sbbo on January 19th, 2009 06:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
down the hills and round the bendsnorton_gale on January 18th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
I don't know why some make such a big deal about Britpicking. It's easy to find a Brit who will Pick, you make the changes, and that's it. I don't expect to write something authentically British: I just don't want British readers to cringe.

Being constrained by the characters' nationality and culture is like being constrained by canon. If you want to break out, go AU. I've certainly done it.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
It's easy for you to find a Brit who will pick, because you are
a. lovely
b. talented, and
c. easy to work with.

But as you say, the non-cringe factor is the key. People who can't find a Britpicker who strike out anything that's overtly American are. I feel, acting in good faith.

And yeah, there's always AU!
(no subject) - norton_gale on January 18th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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nahimanaemerald_dragon8 on January 18th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
*is one of those dreadful people who sometimes write 'alright'* I know, I should be shot. I fully admit this. :)

But yes, agreed on all points. I may not be English, but I have very English grandparents on both sides (although none of them are actually English either - their parents were) and I'm particularly fond of expressing my emotions to pets, not to people. Although if I know someone well enough I'm a bit more demonstrative.

Or, even worse, it would mean more fics in which Draco Malfoy says 'I'm going nutters, you gobshite! What I wouldn't give for a Sainsbury's curry!' And nobody deserves that.

I can think of several people who I would love to torture with that one.

Re: 10 - say it isn't so!!!!!! I've so enjoyed the past couple of days. It's been nice to not fear melting if I step outside my air conditioner's reach.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
Shooting is a bit harsh!

Alas, the warm is coming back, according to the BoM. BUGGER!
(no subject) - emerald_dragon8 on January 18th, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
glorafinglorafin on January 18th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid I'm going to appear as an utter philistine, but isn't 'alright' the correct spelling?

What is the correct spelling then? Allright ? All right ?

Even my beloved Pet Shop Boys sang It's Alright!



blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)
Alas, no, it is all right. Though clearly things have relaxed somewhat of late ...
(no subject) - glorafin on January 18th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sbbo on January 18th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - annafugazzi on January 18th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
makes me mellow right down to my soulfrances_veritas on January 18th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
This entire post is made of win.

Especially this: 5. We all notice 'Mom'. We know Scholastic did it to you. This is why we have voodoo dolls of their CEO under construction. It would be a great favour if you could use Mum. And the pants/underpants/trousers issue can cause unintentional humour.

*gigglesnorts*

I wish they had let JKR just release the British versions and that's it. They didn't need to "americanize" them. Oh, well.

I wish someone in the SPN fandom made a post like this. For non-American people. I've beta'ed fics with the same problems but the complete opposite of yours, if that makes sense. I'm all it's not "colour" it's "color." :P Or "realize" not "realise".
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
It was a fairly patronising decision, I agree. Though on the other hand, it may not have been the publishing phenomenon it became if it hadn't had such aggressive American marketing ...

And this is why I don't write SPN. Well, that and I've only seen half an episode. (Mmmmmmmm Jensen ...)
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on January 18th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
I'm going nutters, you gobshite! What I wouldn't give for a Sainsbury's curry!
It totally reminds me to the gooey something curry with pine nuts dish I had for dinner one day :).

I've learned to like "Mom" actually, it's probably one of the few words I prefer the American spelling for (the British spelling – I don't know why – is more aesthetically pleasing to me). It's somewhat strange to call the lady who gave birth to me the same thing as the bundle of dead Egyptian pharaoh :D. (In US at least, mum is sometimes written in place of chrysanthemum).

Due to the simplicity of Pie!brain, Alumin(i)um is now simply Al to me, while Al2Se3 and it's the bravest compound I've ever known.

*Sends you cold air from the North*

(So much love for this list, and for you! ♥)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Snort! Curry should never be something gooey with pine nuts! Oh dear!

YOU MADE AN HP CHEMISTRY JOKE! I love you! Thank you for the cool air, it ha just arrived and is lovely.

I always quite liked the connection between mum and mummy, since I could warn my mumsy that if she didn't behave, I would have no qualms about hiding her in the British Museum (she can very VERY naughty!)
Voldemoofrantic_mice on January 18th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
:))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
!! XXX!
Bryoneybryoneybrynn on January 18th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
I do my best to have my stuff brit-picked, partly cause I`m down with that but also because, as a Canadian, we fall in between (use colour but also realize *shrugs*). In a "taking it too seriously" way, though, I'd challenge a little on number 6. Not that it's not true, but for some of writers and readers (read: me) the boys having emotional discussions is part of the fantasy. It's not that we think Brits or boys would be so open in real life, as much as we want to pull our own heartstrings. I'm always getting nailed by my betas for making my boys too eloquent and too honest. But I like them that way, I can't help it. That's why my boys swear so much - to try to make up for it! LOL
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
The OED uses realize, there are perfectly good reasons to do so!

I have to say that I notice the emotion in your fics, but I don't find it alarming. It's part of what makes your stories so charming!
(no subject) - bryoneybrynn on January 19th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
SlytherinBrandBabyOilsbbo on January 18th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
Okay, on the subject of Americanism, I must know. I have seen a ton "reckon" popping up in fandom lately. I thought it was a Southern colloquialism. Is it British as well?
wemyss: salisbury skywemyss on January 18th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
Indeed it is.
Very much so.

And I rather imagine that you will find that to be true of many Dixie façons de parler, as the tongue of the American South has not diverged as widely from English as has the rest of the American language.

(I like the American language, with what Benet called its sharp words that never grow fat. I like the American language – so long as no one pretends it is English. (That is neither a jest nor a sneer, by the way. The American tongue, as one might expect if one considers the settlement of that country, is not a dialect of English, but rather of Scots, and to some extent specifically of Ulster Scots. This is why, when Americans have gotten injured, they find themselves in the hospital, for example.))
Re: Indeed it is. - sbbo on January 19th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
Coffeejunkii: between bookscoffeejunkii on January 18th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
If the situation calls for absolute emotional honesty, then it is done very privately and we joke about it later. As Lizzie says in Pride and Prejudice

oh! perhaps this explains why i find jane austen utterly boring. i started reading one of her novels about a decade ago and after a while wondered if any of the characters were ever going to have something resembling interiority. question answered!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
There's loads of interiority, it's just very codified. Once you know the code, it's easy to spot, though it's not immediately obvious to modern English speakers. Sadly, like Shakespeare, Austen is often taught Very Seriously, so all the naughty little jokes and personal giveaways are missed by poor students looking for the Great Literature.

I once had a student arrive at university convinced there was no sex in Shakespeare, and when I said 'country matters?' in a joking fashion, looked at me blankly. I sighed.

In the seventeenth century there was a man named Nahum Tate who went around revising Shakespeare to cut out all the 'uncouth' bits. I fear many teachers still do the same.
Not Quite Donne: britwhorenqdonne on January 18th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
Damn right no one needs that -- Sainsburys curries are rubbish! :P (Waitrose, all the way)

And, hey! Some of us Americans pretend to be British just fine :P :P :P

blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 12:59 pm (UTC)
*cough* (eggnog) *cough*

(Though my fake American would have you dying of laughter. I can get the Californian accent if I have been listening to it immediately before, but my phrasing is woefully awful.)
Camdenabusing_sarcasm on January 18th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
I should kick gabe_speaks for indoctrinating me on "alright" only to find that it's bad!!! I used to put "all right" and was stymied. *humph*

Maybe I'm just a sadistic nutcase, but the self-deprecating emotional moments are so much more fun than weepy ones. :p
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC)
What can you expect of a man who attempts to excuse alot? *Sigh*

And I quite agree!
E McGeemelusinahp on January 18th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
All good advice, the only thing I take issue with is the "no one over the age of 20 crying" thing. And not just because tears are an iron-clad kink of mine. Well, mostly not.

Men cry. British men cry. My husband cried when our daughter was born, and many years earlier when I tried to break up with him that time. They cry at football matches, they cry at funerals, they cry at pretty much all the normal places where it's appropriate to cry. Maybe not while watching Beaches or because they just love someone so darn much, but it does happen.

And querying husband about his friend just now he claims that he's seen them both shed tears on more than one occasion.

I may do a post about this! I feel very passionate about it. ;)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 18th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
Hee! Yes, you are quite right, I have been merrily stereotyping. It was just so much shorter than saying no tears unless
* pets or children are involved
* a sporting team has just won against impossible odds
* you have had to sit through a speech by Boris Johnson
* the Australians AND the New Zealanders have been defeated (though not in cricket at the moment as that is too easy to be worth any emotion)
* they have just eaten something far hotter than they meant to
* it is a Big Life Moment.

But in all of the above cases, there's a probability of self-deprecation afterwards ;-)
Hmm. When do blokes cry? - wemyss on January 19th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Hmm. When do blokes cry? - blamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
As a matter of sober fact... - wemyss on January 19th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: As a matter of sober fact... - blamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bubbaabsynthedrinker on January 18th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
Whether it be Mesopotamia or Maidenhead(please, forgive the pun)debauchery and droit de seigneur on a Malfoy estate have their moments. Though I agree on principle. Thanks

Peace,
Bubba
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 19th, 2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
You must never meet Shiv, the two of you would be unstoppable and that nice girl on my flist who seriously believes that people are plotting and planning for a New World Order would be proven right. Which would be disastrous in and of itself ;-)