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Thread: Being British XIV

  1. #41
    Justice
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    Thanks for your help everyone. I guess I wasn't clear in my first post. I was looking to use Ďsucksí as like "Neville sucks at potions." I wasn't sure if there was a British slang word equivalent. It is for the Trio ere.

  2. #42
    First Year Hufflepuff
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    Iím sorry if this counts as double posting mods, but I wasnít properly registered when I first tried to post this and as a result it got thrown in to the shuffle after I registered and never got answered.

    My main character is muggle-raised for the first 11 years of her life, and I'm just covering all my bases and making sure I get the muggle british life down pat. Sorry there are a ton of questions!

    Counties- Iím trying to pinpoint where my character and her muggle family live. Affluent, but not ludicrously wealthy, homey (neighborhoods similar to that around Privet Drive, I would suppose), with lots of local riding stables, open land, and bridle paths. Surrey, Kent, Devon, there are so many names I keep running in to on the internet, I just canít narrow down or differentiate between them. Where should I put her? I donít have a particularly good grasp on English geography, so if anyone could help me out with suggestions, Iím game.

    Airports- are they all designed fairly similarly? I've been in way too many airports in my life, but they've all been in the US (except for one in Germany and one in Malta). Am I correct in assuming that British airports have pretty similar components to airports in the US? Are there any special terms which brits use in airports that never made it across the pond? Or are things like gate, terminal, baggage claim, runway, boarding zones, departures, arrivals, etc. the same? How tight/lax was security around 1998? How does security at a British airport compare to other airports? About average?

    Animal Shelters- In the US we have our Humane Societies which are no-kill animal shelters (alongside many other no-kills) as well as animal shelters that support euthanasia. Is the system similar in Britain? Again, like I asked with the airplanes, is there any specific terminology common to the subject? Do animal shelters across the pond have similar business models and adoption/foster programs as those in the US?

    Horseback Riding- I'm an avid horseback rider here- I 'lease' my horse and keep him at a 'boarding facility'. We trail ride, do low level hunter/jumper shows, low level eventing, and we ride with the local hunt (though we chase coyotes and not foxes). I know the terminology across the pond in the horseback riding world is quite different, especially concerning showing and the levels at which one shows, so translating the first two sentences in this paragraph baffles me. English to spanish? No problem. American English to british? There just doesn't seem to be an answer, no matter how hard I google. Can anyone help me out with brit-specific equestrian terms? I know that there is currently a ban on foxhunting in the UK, but this comes after my character and does not affect her. Riding to hounds comes with it's own crazy set of terminology, but am I correct in assuming since many of the traditions in foxhunting here in the US came from jolly old England that much of the vocabulary is the same?
    Here, where I live, land is plentiful, horses are common, and though suburbia and the urban sprawl is encroaching, the US is just so massive that there is still a lot of room to breathe. Ar riding stable pressed for space in the UK? How common is trail riding? What are some of the major Hunts in the country? Is there a class stigma with riding? Here, just about everyone can afford a horse if they adjust the budget. Is it similar in the UK? Here, though it is traditionally thought of as being meant for the wealthy, any middle class bum and his pony can cap with the Hunt if they're turned out properly and can ride well enough. Is there a class stigma with riding to the hounds in the UK (or rather, was there in the 1990's)?

    Any help is much appreciated!
    There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for gold;
    The Arctic trails have their secret tales
    That would make your blood run cold;
    The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
    But the queerest they ever did see
    Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
    I cremated Sam McGee...

  3. #43
    psijupiter
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    Counties- That sort of middle-class suburb like Privet Drive would exist in most counties - the ones you named are fine. I'd stick to the south/south-east of England as it is the more well-off area. Surrey or Kent would be my choice. You could maybe look at the West Midlands as well, which has plenty of countryside.

    Airports- skipping because I have been in very few airports, all a long time ago, and none in the US. However, most airports I believe have websites, which shoould have information and advice that would help you.

    Animal Shelters- The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) would probably be main difference to be aware of. They rescue animals, both pets and wild animals, and do a lot work to prevent and prosecute animal abuse. They run some animal shelters, but there are lots of charities over here that so, some national ones and some local ones. I imagine they would be similar to the US ones. All the ones I can think of are definitely no-kill animal shelters, but I guess there are some that support euthinasia? I'd recommend going through the RSPCA website.

    Horseback Riding- I can't help much with horse riding terminology, but I can say there are plenty of open spaces, even thought the UK is much more crowded than the US. The British countryside can be very idealised over here! There are laws to protect green areas and there is plenty of privately owned land that has public rights of way/bridle paths.

    There has always been a fair amount of protest about fox-hunting, but before the government started talking about banning it most people probably wouldn't have formed an opinion either way, or even thought about it. It is very much an upper upper class activity, and I think even most people who did ride horses wouldn't have had much contact with it. I've no idea if just anyone can join in with the hunt though - probably technically you could, but it might have been quite hard to actually be accepted.

    Hope that helps a little!

  4. #44
    Fifth Year Ravenclaw
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    Hi

    Counties- Counties are often historic and “local government” doesn’t always conform to the historic counties anyway. Most counties have wealthy areas, some more or less than others. If you go onto Wikipedia and check out Engilsh Counties, you’ll find them all (for a full picture you need Scottish Counties and Welsh counties too). Every county will claim to be the best and frankly, you could pick any. They all have their wealthier areas, which are often villages or suburbs on the edges of larger settlements. Across most of the UK you don’t need to go far to find open countryside.

    Airports- They vary greatly in size and number of runways. All airports (in my experience) are basically the same. Some are large (Heathrow, Copenhagen) some are small (Salzburg, Sandfjord) to name a few I’ve visited. Security in UK airports was tighter than that in the USA even in the ‘90’s. We’d been dealing with terrorist attacks for decades. In 1988 Lockerbie became more than simply a Scottish border town and in March ’94 the IRA managed to close Heathrow with a mortar attack. Seeing a policeman carrying a gun is unusual in the UK, unless you’re at an airport. Security was tight before 9/11 and even tighter afterwards.

    Animal Shelters- As has been said, the RSPCA is the biggest animal welfare charity by far, next is (probably) the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) this the largest veterinary charity. There are lots of local and specialist charities (Battersea Dogs home is probably the most famous). Charities attempt to re-home strays, but most will carry out euthanasia.

    Horseback Riding- I'm no expert, though I know a couple of riders.
    Many people of even moderate wealth own horses or ponies. Horse shows and eventing are common in rural areas. Hunting is banned, but the hunts still “ride to hounds”. I can’t help with the terms.
    There is, so far as I know, no class stigma (except that most of the hunts are class-based). Eventing and other sports are rural and many people in rural counties own horses. Most stables I know have adequate pasture and most are close to bridle ways. Stables vary in size from personal stables for one or two horses to large commercial ventures with 20+ loose boxes. A lot of the larger stables have a manege and some have indoor arenas.

    -N-

    First Competition Banner I've won. For: Killers

  5. #45
    Time Traveler Slytherin
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    Er. . . anyone good with British insults?

    I'm writing a story that involves a lot of arguing, and stupid does not sound right. What would a girl and boy scream at each other in a fight? Arrogant pig? Prick?
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    No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
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    Ellie

  6. #46
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    It depends on the era and the characters, really. Harry and Hermione arguing would use different words than say, Ron and George or teenage Sirius and Snape. There's a search feature in these threads, and I'm pretty sure this question has been asked before. Searching for 'insults' might be an idea.

    Sarah x


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  7. #47
    Time Traveler Slytherin
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    Ok
    Thanks so much!
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    No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
    (The Dead Poets Society)


    Ellie

  8. #48
    ljmckay
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    Hello!

    I'm new here so I hope this is allowed. I don't have a specific question, but I am looking for a Brit-picker -- someone to look over my fic quickly and let me know if there's anything un-British in there.

    The fic is relatively short (6000 words) and has already been betaed. I would prefer someone actually British, if possible; I've spent time in the UK and watched enough British telly to catch the glaringly obvious things, but I'm concerned about the more subtle connotations.

    If you're willing, please send me your email address and I will send you the fic.

    Thanks!

  9. #49
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Hi there, I can't seem to access your userpage, but I can help. I'm British and I love to Britpick! PM or email me through the site if you want me to help.

    Sarah x


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  10. #50
    Fourth Year Gryffindor
    Arguing With The Sorting Hat
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    I'm totally stuck on something in my fanfic, but it's pretty small. I was just wondering if someone could name some popular British cereal. In the movies (I think Gof) we get Cheeri-Owls, but I don't particularly want to use that. Or should I go with something different and right out of the books?
    Kindly disregard old posts by me. I was an irritating kid who didn't understand grammar.

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