August 19th, 2009

Honorifics for peasants and commoners

Does anybody know any honorifics used in either medieval Europe or Ancient Greece (or modern Greece, for that matter? I could work with that) to address commoners, peasants, or basically people without any real standing or nobility? I feel like I overuse sir,madam, and ma'am. I'm looking for something to replace Mr. and Mrs. in modern usage.

The very specific situation I'm looking at right now involves a group of three of my main characters (T, F, and A). A and F are keeping an old woman busy while T is treating her husband ofan illness). I'm trying to figure out how A and F would address the old woman politely (so "Old Lady!" is pretty much out.) But I'm guessing I'll need this more often This feels like something I ought to know (well, for medieval European-style fantasy, anyway), and have probably seen in books before, but I'm completely blanking out now.

I've tried Googling and looking through wikipedia, but all I can find are imperial and noble titles.

Thanks in advance for the help! 
  • Current Mood: thoughtful

Rank, Family, and Sex(uality) in Victorian England


Search Terms: I’ve read through the memories and found some pretty useful information, but not enough of what I need and my search terms (“homosexuality in Victorian England”, “homosexuality among the upper class in Victorian England”, “Younger Sons of the Victorian Upper Class”, “Marriage for Younger Sons in the Victorian Upper Class”, and “Victorian England: Upper Class Estates”) haven’t yielded the results I’d hoped for.  I know I’m doing something wrong, but I can’t make it to a library and my aging computer makes it difficult to access certain resources.

 

Setting: Victorian England, probably in the latter half of the era, but that could easily change.

 

Context: After one too many fights, Damien is sent to work for an upper-middle or upper class family. Based on what I’ve learned, the scenario is probably best-served if they were similar in origin, wealth, and status to the Rothschilds, but I’m not sure and, of course, welcome any and all suggestions =).  In order for the plot to work, Damien must spend a considerable amount of time with his employer’s son, Sebastien, and, ideally, for them to be able to spend time alone.  Sebastien is the youngest son and second of three children, all of whom are petty brats, but none hides it as well as he does; however, his father sees through his façade and is so disgusted that he takes action to change Bastien.  I imagine he might send Sebastien from their home in London to their country estate (to remove him from bad influences), set him to work in a managerial position in the family business or, ideally, in the family home (to teach him discipline, responsibility, etc.), but are any of those options likely?  If so, what might Sebastien actually do and how position might Damien have that would allow them to interact on a regular basis?

 

Birthright: First and Second Sons. I know the eldest son usually didn’t have to work, as he could depend on an inheritance, and that the younger one usually prepared for a career, but if the family was enough, might they divide the inheritance in two and allow both their sons to enjoy a life of luxury? In the same vein, would it be plausible for the eldest son to enter the military (as an officer, of course)?  If it helps, Bastien has ambitions of going into politics and more talent for and interest in it than does his older brother, so he wouldn’t simply be sitting down at home, though I realize it would be a very unusual reversal of roles in a society with a rather rigid social structure. As a last resort, I could write them as twins, in which case I’d like to know if their parents would divide the estate exactly in half or if the firstborn would receive the greater share, as usual?

 

Homosexuality. Sebastien's homosexual, but very discreet about it: he only has sex with prostitutes and members of the working class, as they’re much easier to silence and/or discredit than the parents of noblemen, though, of course, he’d rather avoid any hint of scandal.  How might he approach a servant if he wanted to have sex with him?  According to one source I found, servants actually reported employers for attempted sodomy, indecent assault, etc., so is that likely to have made noblemen more cautious? Or would they have been straightforward, knowing the servant would probably keep his mouth shut and that even if he didn’t, they’d be safe from prosecution?  Would a servant have been likely to react with surprise or would rumours about their employer’s sexual proclivities have spread to his employees?  What were the probable consequences if a servant said no?  What were the probable consequences if he said yes? Would the other servants know what was going on?  Would they treat him differently if they knew or suspected he was having sex with their employer?

 

Marriage.  Lastly, would a younger son have had to marry? I figure the burden of producing an heir would fall predominantly on the shoulders of his brother and if neither money nor interest compelled him, could he have remained a bachelor or would the social ramifications have been too great?

 

*Just a note, I don’t have much wiggle room with Damien’s situation, but Bastien’s is more flexible.

 

I know I’ve asked a lot of questions (and my Google-fu’s evidently very rusty), so I really appreciate your time and any and all help! Thank you so much and have a fantabulous day~.

Scholarships to Tisch School of the Arts in 1998

I have a stage actor character as an alum of Tisch, class of 1998, who went there for their undergrad drama program. In looking online I've found that Tisch basically awards need-based aid, although talent is taken into consideration. Ideally I want him to have had a full merit scholarship but it seems that's inaccurate. Would it have been possible for him to have gotten a full scholarship (through, I assume, some combination of need and merit) from Tisch/Tisch-related sources if his parents' household income was $55,000 a year with him and two brothers as dependents? Is it likely that Tisch would want him (or any particular student) enough that they would go to the trouble of figuring out a way to get a scholarship for him? I have him as someone who had a huge amount of raw talent, killed his auditions and interviews, but was relatively new to theater and started acting when he was a sophomore in high school.

If it's relevant: He's a straight white male from Oakland, not a genius but a decent student. He would be a very good fit for the program.

searches: tisch school of the arts +full scholarship, merit scholarship, permutations thereof

edit: got the answer. Thanks everyone!

Runaway charges in Georgia

When: Contemporary
Where: Georgia, USA (Atlanta and surrounds, specifically)
Search terms used: Runaway +Georgia, runaway charges +georgia, georgia laws on runaways, laws +Runaway +Georgia

Other search terms welcome.

I have a 14yo boy, who ran away from home after accidentally killing his father. The father's body was never found (and never will be) and he's technically classed as "missing". The boy was found in a junkyard, by the police (he'd been staying there a while, but was ratted out by someone from his school seeing him, and then the owner, who had been letting him stay there turned around and said the boy was trespassing) and taken to jail.

The police suspect his father is dead and that he did it, but there's no proof (and never will be) so they haven't been able to hold him on any murder/manslaughter charges.

However: I need to know what they would charge him with for being a runaway, and now a ward of the state.

I know he'll get a trespassing charge and possibly delinquency, but need to know what else he might be charged with.

This is Marvel universe, and the character is an AU Kevin Ford (Wither) for anyone familiar with it.

Legally barred from travelling outside of the state.

In the present-day US, under what circumstances might someone be barred from traveling outside their state of residence? I'd prefer for it to be a permanent situation (so not probation or parole), and I don't even know where to start looking.

Searched for: "travel restrictions for criminals," "state to state travel restrictions," "travel restrictions for felons"
  • Current Mood: aggravated
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History of American Summer Vacations

Hey. I've tried looking for "history of summer vacations," "summer vacations 1899," "school year 1899" on google and no luck, so I was hoping someone might know this. I'm helping a friend with his book, and he has a flashback of sorts written featuring a boy getting exciting about his summer vacation and going on from there. The scene is set in 1899, West Virginia. In that timeframe and in that state, while I knew breaks existed, were there summer vacations and how long were they?

Thanks for any help.