Handy language lists....

For all of us here in the States who write in British-based fandoms, and for all of us in the UK who write in American-based fandoms....

Some handy lists!




I think it would be neat if anyone had similar, that they would like to add in comments.

Work in an emergency department

I'm working on a contemporary novel. Some scenes take place in a large hospital in Los Angeles.

I have two questions that you might be able to help me with:

1. One of the books I read as part of my research (sorry, I forgot which one) said that physicians and nurses would not refer to the emergency department as an "ER" (since it's not just one room), but as an "ED" (emergency department).

But one of my beta readers (a former nurse) protested that abbreviation since it can also mean erectile dysfunction.

Does anyone work in an emergency department in the US (maybe in California) and can let me know which abbreviation is used--ER or ED?

2. Also, are pagers/beepers still used in hospitals in the US/California?

I googled terms such as "pagers still used in hospitals", but found conflicting information.

Does anyone have up-to-date firsthand information?

Small Child Reuniting With Absentee Parent

Working on a fic set in a futuristic "space opera" verse. Not all the characters are human, but this ain't hard science, so I'm expecting to finesse a lot of things.

It"s involved. Bear with me.Collapse )

Any help is appreciated, even if it's just better search terms. :o

**[ETA- Thanks for your input, Folks! I definitely have more to go on than I did before. :)]**

Titanic Era jobs for upper middle class in the US?

Hey, friends!

I'm working on something in a vaguely alternative (Supernatural based, so monsters and scary things, and slayers of said scary things, exist) 1912 US, and I need a job for one of my main characters' father. Something that would involve a fair bit of traveling, or force the family to move from time to time, but pay well enough that they can send their daughter to girls boarding school in New York. Extra points if it's dangerous? (I'm feeling like railway worker, but that's more likely to land the main character square in charity case, instead of genteely impoverished orphan girl [ie-Charlie] clever enough to be accepted by her "betters".) A bit of hand waving as far as dates and locations is fine, so long as it doesn't entirely kill the suspension of disbelief.

I've paged through the 1910-1919 tag, and done a fair bit of googling for jobs/employment and the classes (peerage, landed gentry, upper middle class, blah blah blah) in the era, and most of what I'm turning up is factory and textile work, and like the railway jobs, too far into the poor side of things.
  • Current Mood: hungry

Chinese Translation: Astrology/Lunar Calendar Cycles

Setting: A futuristic mashup fandom notorious for crap Mandarin. Firefly, in so many words. All the standard warnings apply here: shoddy Mandarin, Mandarin that wouldn’t resemble itself in 500 years, etc. Plus, I don’t even know how astrology would work in a non-Earth setting, but maybe Chinese/or Western astrology might’ve survived as charming/antique cultural concepts. Maybe.

Searches: Didn’t search this because I have zero Chinese-language background and minimally-helpful Japanese background - think days of the week. As a starting point (and possibly for some laughs) I ran it through GoogleTranslate.

Cut for SpaceCollapse )

Jurassic Coast landslip, Lyme Regis

What would this area have been known as during the early 1800s?

By 1839, on the eve of the Great Landslip, it had its present name. Would the earlier formation, formed by the 1775 landslip, also be known as the Undercliff?


Donald Campbell, Exploring the Undercliffs
Elaine Franks, The Undercliff
ed. Deirdre de la Faye, Jane Austen's Letters
Patricia Pierce, Jurassic Mary
British Geological Survey website
Paintings by Copplestone Warre Bampfyld (such a resoundingly eighteenth-century name.)
This website: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Lyme-Regis-Westward.htm

A little detail indeed, but I don't want to commit anachronism!

How serious would a shotgun wound be when not fired in close range?

Setting: Present-day, a healthy man in his mid-thirties is running and hit from behind by ammo from a shotgun. The wound is in the left side area.

Here's what puzzles me. I always thought a shotgun injury would be serious, and it is certainly portrayed as such in the thing I am citing. (The Rockford Files, season 4, episode The Queen of Peru, if anyone wants to know.) For years I've been writing it as such in stories written about the characters in that episode. But when I finally decided to actually look up how serious, the only thing I could even find that talked specifically about shotgun wounds at all (and not gunshot wounds in general) said that while at close range a shotgun wound is far worse than a handgun wound, at a distance a shotgun is more likely to leave small and superficial wounds because of the little pellets inside a shotgun shell.

I actually saw the latter situation depicted as such in a different, earlier episode of The Rockford Files, when Jim Rockford himself was shot at with a shotgun and apparently not at close range. But the character in The Queen of Peru was certainly not shot at close range, either. (Although I suppose maybe it depends on the definition of "close range.") So my question is, was it inaccurate for the writer of that episode to depict that shotgun wound as something extremely serious and probably potentially life-threatening, instead of something closer to the small and superficial pellet wounds?

I have been having a terrible time finding anything about shotgun wounds in specific. Every search I try just results in the search engine reversing my term and giving me generic stuff on gunshot wounds in general. I'm amazed I even found that one website.
  • Current Mood: confused

Late Song Dynasty names?

I'm plotting a story that begins a few years before Kublai Khan invaded China. The name of the main protagonist isn't important for now, since he's not human and isn't expected to have one and will only be addressed with nicknames for a while; but I do need to at least find a name for some of the people surrounding him.

The relevant characters (for now) are two brothers (so I will probably need to name at least their parents as well); they're not particularly important people, let's say a big fish in a little pond sort of family. They'd probably 'rule' over a rural village, which makes the little brother feel like he's more important than he actually is. The older brother is a veteran who's just very glad he's still alive and just wants to be able to enjoy the simple things in life.

I've googled 'song dynasty names', 'chinese names song dynasty', and 'first names song dynasty', and google mostly just gives me back lists of the names of actual people belonging to the Song Dynasty. I did find out about the Hundred Family Surnames page on wikipedia, and since there's no translation of the names I've been going through them slowly (I kinda like "湛; zhàn - deep / clear (water)" and "廉; lián - incorruptible / honest / inexpensive / to investigate (old) / side wall of a traditional Chinese house (old)", so far); and read this article about last names, which was very interesting. I don't really trust sites with lists of names because they're not very accurate as far as my nationality goes, and I would probably end up being very anacronistic even if I do end up picking a name that actually exists...

Do you guys have any suggestions?

I still have A LOT of research to do, since I'm still hopelessly ignorant about the subject, but I feel like establishing names instead of going by '???? 1' and '???? 2' is probably a good place to start.

Thanks in advance!