July 21st, 2010

Pre-regency cussing by a kid

Rejoice with me; the galley has arrived! But we've got our young Balkan baron (age 10) going "rats!" at a minor frustration. Which turns out to be late 19th, not late 18th, and originally U.S. at that.

I'm sure that "damn" and other 4-letter words are period, but I don't like to make the boy quite that precocious. And everything else I can think of seems to be either earlier or later.

And no, I can't take refuge in "I swore in my native Croatian" or some such. Maybe "Merde!"--he's being taught French--but I think his tutor is too strait-laced for that. And falling into French would be odd in his father's study.

Not helpful so far: various search combos of
swearing, cussing, exclamation, interjection*, regency, georgette heyer, jane austen

The list at http://www.georgette-heyer.com/slang.html looked promising, but "[U]pon [my] rep[utation]!" "Tare an' hounds!" and "Thunder an' turf!" are way TOO time-and-class bound, and  "Lawks!" and "Lud!" aren't much better.

Maybe I'll go with "hell!" after all . . .
* If anybody has no-additional-charge access to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20091122 , it looks really interesting.
  • mardia

Question on the short/long-term effects of malnutrition/forced starvation

Setting: alien planet in the 2240s.

Subject: healthy and active human male, age 18-19 / active and healthy human female in her late 50s/early 60s.

The fic I'm working on now is obviously set in the future, where a community of humans are living and working on an alien planet that they've colonized. They're a self-sufficient community that produces their own food, and eventually a fungus/famine strikes, wiping out nearly all of the crop for that year.

Here's where my question is. The two characters I've described are both in good health at the beginning of the fic, but as the story progresses, everyone in the community--including them--are put on very strict rations, and nobody in the community is really getting enough food.

After about four months of this, with the rations getting smaller and smaller as time goes on, the male character is eventually locked in a prison, where he's given no food and no water until he's rescued and immediately given medical attention. Now, I've read something about dehydration potentially causing ocular hypertension, which could result in glaucoma causing partial blindness, and I want to know how long this character would have to be denied water for that to occur. Also, on a more general note, I do want to get a sense of the short and long term effects of this starvation on the human body, and whether there would be permanent effects as well. I've gotten a lot of conflicting results when trying to do research for this, and since both of these characters have medical training in my story, I really want to get this right. Any help would be greatly appreciated, and thank you in advance!

Travel from Virginia to South Carolina by car

Road Trip from north Virginia (Richmond-ish) to island (around Hilton Head Island) near Charleston, South Carolina

Background: My characters are escaping some fictional town in Virginia and trying to make it to an island relatively close to the coast. It takes place five years in the future in a new world order-esque type of environment. Vampires have taken over and most of the cities and larger towns (through checkpoints, etc.) on the east to the south. Control across smaller towns is rather sketchy though, which is why movement, although dangerous (especially after nightfall), is still feasible. The island is theoretically vampire-safe since the only bridge that lead to it was blown off by it's inhabitants, who armed themselves, etc.

My characters will want to keep away from the big cities as much as possible, though I'm resigned that the route eventually might have them going through one (this is one of my questions).

Since I haven't been there myself, these questions might come across as really silly, but I'd appreciate any help at all. My preliminary research (which is all over the place) and more specific questions are under the cut.

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Need help with West African names & folklore/mythology

Googled: a labyrinthine series of terms involving general African mythology; Jangu; Mami Wata; names and surnames and name meanings of "native African" peoples, "West African" peoples, and by individual countries, regional variances in skin tone, Von Luschan's chromatic scale, etc. etc. etc.

So here's what I got:

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Which brings me to where I am now, trying to hammer out her origin story as it's becoming a bit more relevant to the story than I had ever imagined it would be. I am trying to figure out the following things:

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So basically I just don't know where to start here. This story of mine will probably never amount to anything of consequence -- it is, after all, being written just for fun -- and this is a lot of thought and effort to put into something that will never be read by more than probably a dozen people at the very most, but even so, I feel like it would be doing a great disservice to myself and my character as well as to the cultures I'm trying to represent in my writing if I don't at least TRY to do it right.

Thanks to anyone who's had the patience to read that. Any ideas would be appreciated. ^_^