December 7th, 2009

Symptoms of Victorian hysteria

I've been doing some searching for "symptoms of hysteria," "Victorian hysteria in women," and the like, and while I've seen multiple mentions of a list containing "75 pages of possible symptoms," I have yet to find any list of significant length that describes these symptoms. All I'm finding is the Wikipedia article and the articles that were copypasted to make the Wikipedia article. Help me out?

I want specifically symptoms as described in the Victorian (pre-Freud or co-current with his work) era, not the modern hysteria that a few rather sketchy self-diagnosis websites describe.

Sheriff uniforms, 40s and 50s

Trying to find out if a small- 2 to 6 person sheriff's department in a small town in Washington state in the late 40s or early 50s would always wear an official uniform. I'd like to have them wear regular clothes and have it not be too weird.
Searched Combination of: Sheriff, uniform, 40s, 50s, small town
What I found so far:
In uniform in CA, in 40s, 50s
http://www.badgehistory.com/old_photo_1.html
indicates that in the 20s and 30s, when the dept. was smaller, they didn’t really wear uniforms, also, in the group pics with uniforms, there are some not in uniforms- possibly the guys in charge?
http://www.co.kenosha.wi.us/sheriff/History.html
In uniform in the 50s
http://www.siskiyouhistory.org/1950_image12.html
(I couldn't tell from the posting rules if I should tag this or if that would be confusing)
(it's also my 1st post, so please let me know if I've done anything wrong/less than optimally)

Thank you!

Worldbuilding the post-apocalypse society, but not in the blast zone

I'm worldbuilding a post-apocalyptic society, but the problem I'm having is that I'm figuring out how badly an area would be affected 40-60 years later when they aren’t actually in the blast zone. Say, if there's a nuclear strike on the east coast (circa now), how would California fare in the next two generations? (I *can* nuke LA as well, if necessary, but would very much prefer not to. I want the emphasis on society, not fallout.) Specifically, an area in central California – I'm working with Bakersfield and Fresno as the possible north/south end points.

Now, there's a bit of handwavey SF stuff going on that will affect this, but basically I'm trying to figure out a logical way that society would break down into smaller pieces and build itself up again within my desired timeframe. I want it to be just at the point where some local governments are banding together and the biggest one is asserting itself as the overarching government for that area. I can play with the variables all I want – there can be setbacks ranging from pandemics to famine years to the cities (including Bako and Fresno) destroying themselves in riots to looters coming out into the rural areas – but I need it to seem logical that at THIS time, everything is seemingly coming together. I can stretch it out to three generations if possible, but really don't want to go beyond that, as I want there to be at least a few survivors who remember the Old Days.

What I also want is for this geographical area to be as self-sustaining as possible (this is for essential plot reasons) – it doesn't have to be grandiose, but food and supplies and energy sources need to be available, fertility rates need to be at a suitable level, and they need some kind of transportation. (Horses? This is partly ranch country, after all.) How many people would be required to create this kind of society? How large an area can reasonably hold itself together in this manner? Oh, and I need guns, which means being able to make bullets after the existing stocks run out....

This is basically the iceberg – 90% of it will be underwater but I need to know it's there or I can't build the story on top of it. Any suggestions/advice gratefully accepted.

Where I've already looked: some homesteading and survivalist websites, but the emphasis there tends to be on what to stock up on now (I'll keep looking). Some useful sites I've found include Bombshock: http://www.bombshock.com/ and this post theorizing a nuclear attack on Washington DC: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1429926/posts and this one on post-apocalyptic pandemics: http://recessional.dreamwidth.org/41902.html and I think I might need to order the Paladin Press backstock....

Thanks!

Question on Scots usage

Hello all,

Today's question is: What would be the Scots equivalent for "gyp" as a word for pain, especially when you don't want to make too big a deal of it ("It's giving me a bit of gyp since the war")?

Would someone from Scotland born about 1916 say "gyp," especially if having spent some time in an English- rather than Scots-speaking context, or would there be some other word that would be just too indelible? Also, would "gyp" be just too English?

What I've observed about Scots speakers who switch to English is that there are some English colloquialisms they will use, and others they won't. It doesn't seem to follow any obvious rule but some words seem to be more neutral and others to identify you too much as English. In a context where Scots would be unacceptable, which is or used to be most venues for educated speech, they seem to use non-colloquial words rather than use English shibboleths (for instance you might not say "git," instead you'd say "bastirt"). But some words are perfectly OK to co-opt into Scots, or Scots-inflected English (not the same thing, though there isn't a clear demarcation): "bluidy," "airse," etc. It also makes a difference if the corresponding Scots term comes just too quickly to the tip of the tongue, as opposed to a little-used dialect term one would be likely to forget once out of the area. (For instance, in Maine where I'm from, we say "cunnin'" for cute, and it's something you hear often or used to, but it wouldn't occur to me outside of Maine.)

If timing and place are important, the person in question is from Moray, went to Manchester around age sixteen, served in the Korean War and was wounded (from whence the gyp) and would have been living in the U.S. from about the mid-sixties to the mid-eighties.

(I'm aware that "gyp" is pejorative due to the association with "Gypsies," but if it's something the character would have said I need to know about it.)

Slightly rude words in the 1940s?

time: early 1940s, place: Somewhere in Europe (near the western front), though the person in question grew up in the US and went to college in England. The same character that 4 of my last 5 posts have been about (she's eating my brain!)
Not really sure how to search this, though I took a vague stab at "slang terms (1940s OR ww2 OR "world war 2")--can't tell levels of rudeness very well, however, and there wasn't much on relatively generic nasty names.

Our Heroine is from a wealthy family (and fairly proper/correct/prim), but she's a bastard (in the literal sense, basically no one but her mother knew who her father even was). So I don't think she'd use that as a pejorative term (if, for example, she ever meets her absentee father and wants to call him something rude)--it would be too sensitive of a subject for her.

But I have no idea what other words a relatively gently reared 25-year-old would *use* in the early '40s to indicate that someone was worthless/bad/morally corrupt/etc, or otherwise indicate extreme displeasure. Having her call someone a f***-head or a**hole or whatever just doesn't feel right at all--I don't think someone of her class and upbringing would speak like that.

(She's a surgeon, and also knows French and Latin, if that suggests anything in particular to anyone)