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Percy in grammar crisis!

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My mental picture of Percy has just been irrevocably shattered.

I am lying here on my stomach in our lovely if slightly over-the-top canopy bed, with the laptop in front of me, pretending to be working on editing my HD_hols fic so that it includes more, you know, H/D, but really reading my flist. imogenelovelace is using the small of my back as a pillow while rereading GoF, but also contemplating why the tummy bits of our Persian cat get furry faster than the rest of her when really, they're the bits that should stay hairless longer in order to make the traumatic shaving process less frequent. (Perhaps it's because she exposes The Tummy Which Shall Never Be Brushed Upon Pain of Death And Not Her Own to the world so much: right now she's in her usual upside-down doughnut configuration... where "she" is the cat, not the wife.) It's all very cozy and exactly what 2 am should look like.

But then, my dear resident Grammar Goddess shatters the domestic idyll with the following bombshell:

"Well, I certainly don't," said Percy, sanctimoniously. "I shudder to think what the state of my in-tray would be if I was away from work for five days."


Please someone tell me that this is J.K.R. and not Percy. I am dying. And if I am dying, when I am capable of such horrible sins against grammar as the above sentence and the second paragraph, it is dire indeed.

Dear new friends: I am going to do a proper introduction post eventually. In the meantime, I promise I am not always this spastic, honestly.

ETA: This is the worse mood theme ever, if that's the yellow smiley face's idea of shocked. My own face is more like O.o with flaily hands for emphasis.
Current Mood:
shocked shocked
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On June 13th, 2007 09:29 am (UTC), ashirashadow commented:
That's not like Percy. That's not like Percy at all.

heh. flaily hands.

What I wouldn't give for that to be my 2am once in awhile. awww... i started a pity party. hahaha
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On June 13th, 2007 10:23 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Oh, no! Did not mean to start pity party or seem smug, at all! I was trying to be more providing of the personal info, since I've been feeling all bad that my lj friends provide lots of interesting personal life story woven in with the fandom, and that I've kind of been a black hole of information transfer!

Er. I am old and boring and settled, and there have to be payoffs to being old and boring and settled? I bet you are younger and more glamorous-life-having than me!

Flaily hands are just like jazz hands, only more prone to injuring other people! :D
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On June 13th, 2007 09:35 am (UTC), nqdonne commented:
Oh, dear. *pat, pat* It is definitely JKR. Because Percy would never... srsly. The woman can't handle maths and has the emotional maturity of a teaspoon. Can we really expect proper Percy grammar from her? :/
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On June 13th, 2007 10:25 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Oh, NQ. I knew I could count on your superior knowledge of Percy AND of grammar. :D

I totally love your JKR math debunking rants, btw. I'm sort of hoping there will be more egregious math errors in the new book, just for the joy of watching you poke holes in then. I am the worst fangirl ever!
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On June 13th, 2007 09:37 am (UTC), blindmouse commented:
... no. No, say it isn't true.

He's traumatised, that's all. Somebody suggested taking time off work. It's made him a little bit crazy.
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On June 13th, 2007 10:27 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Oh, poor dear, overworked to a point that he's forgotten about the subjunctive. Mr Crouch is a demanding boss, after all.

*nods* That makes total sense. Thank you for saving my paradigm! You win!!
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On June 13th, 2007 11:16 am (UTC), secretsolitaire commented:
I'm sure it's just JKR. *pets*

I have the same mood theme, and I must agree that it's not always up to the challenge.
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On June 13th, 2007 11:26 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
*calms down* Thank you for the reassurance in my time of need. :)

And yes, how hard is it to edit such a simple gif to look shocked, to distinguish "shocked" from "happy" and "horny" and any other vaguely positive emotion? It's really binary: "Happy" or "Not Happy".

Then again, I suppose then we'd have no incentive to shell out for a paid or plus account... and since I'm getting this for free, I'm not exactly complaining! :)
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On June 13th, 2007 11:43 am (UTC), slian_martreb commented:

Of course it's JKR. It's always JKR
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On June 13th, 2007 11:53 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
All this reassurance is so very helpful. All of these people whose opinions I respect could not possibly all be wrong... and neither could Percy!

Thank you!
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On June 13th, 2007 12:12 pm (UTC), liseuse commented:
That is definitely JKR. Percy was busy using his brain power for something very important and he let his attention on the current wander a little and she slipped in and removed all of his grammatical abilities.

Although, I have been thinking about this. The kids arrive at school at 11 and from then on no-one teaches them basic English Language & Literature or Maths. I know, they can choose to do Arithmancy but if I remember rightly, they aren't made to do it in first year. That's a lot of relying on parents to be good at grammar and teaching. Therefore I suppose you could also blame Molly.
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On June 13th, 2007 01:49 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
You are so right about the failings of the educational system in HP!

Especially because arithmancy isn't wizarding mathematics, but rather, predicting the future by numerology, basically. So, not even being made to do that would really be terribly helpful.

I do wonder if there are options besides homeschooling for the purebloods. The fact that the muggleborn and halfbloods have Muggle school access might make them vastly more qualified for succeeding at life, because knowing basic math and grammar is really a necessary survival sklll, and a life without literature is just sad. Woe!

But I <3 Molly, so I think J.K.R. it is.

And Percy seems like he's bookish enough to have gotten good grammar from schoolbooks by the time GoF rolls around... unless the subjunctive is entirely unheard of in all of Wizarding Culture because EVERYONE has bad grammar education and thus they all just speak a particular pidgin. (Like Kitteh for cat macros.... which brings to mind all kinds of great potential crossovers, actually, for the second time today.)
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On June 13th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC), sambethe commented:
Somehow you think her editors would have caught that somewhere along the way.

The poor subjunctive, always so ignored in English.
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On June 13th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Normally, I don't mind at all when dialog reflects how people actually speak in natural conversation, rather than pristine grammar. In fact, I quite like and prefer that, so long as it's not taken to the extreme of transliterating the accent (i.e. Fleur and Hagrid get to be too much for me sometimes - I am happy to *imagine* the accent, really).

BUT... this is a case in which it really sounds bad when said aloud, and also, it's PERCY, the character whose speech has been the most fussy and proper, I think, and for whom bad grammar is downright OOC.

Subjunctive is so neglected, generally, you are so right... and now we find that Percy/Subjunctive = NOTP. *sniffle*
— On June 13th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace posted a reply · Expand
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On June 13th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Oh hush. You're brilliant in far more important ways than nitpicking minor grammar points. Plus, unlike JKR, you keep Ravenclaws on your flist for resolving any burning grammar minutiae if they should become urgent matters. :D

Crash course in subjunctive: it's the tense you use for "if" statements that aren't currently happening and may not become true. Basically, hypothetical statements, wishes, suggestions to other people you hope they would take, etc.

It's the difference between Gwen Stephani's badpop song that I may or may not be secretly fond of being called "If I Was A Rich Girl" or "If I Were A Rich Girl". The first is what it actually is but the second is correct, which reflects a general trend in English to ignore the subjunctive.

I know I really learned about the subjunctive from taking Spanish. So if you never got really hardcore into a foreign language where subjunctive is more consistently used, you really couldn't be expected to know.

Unless you're an editor and being paid lots of money to fix someone else's multimillion dollar children's book. :D
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On June 13th, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC), onlysayitonce commented:
I usually read too quickly to look at grammar. This makes me a bit sad inside. I have to admit, though, that I don't expect too much from Rowling.
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On June 13th, 2007 07:58 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
Oh, me too, on the quick rereading and usually not noticing these things!

We're just doing a re-read in anticipation of DH around here, and going through the entire series from start to finish is a bit more leisurely because you're not trucking along trying to find out what is going on with Professor Lupin or whatever. It's actually nice - I'm picking up on a lot of details and foreshadowing that I hadn't noticed on the first go-round. (I've only read the books I especially liked a second time around.)

I remember HBP having some really purple prose, though, that i bet will bug me more on the second read-through. (Bad HP fan - I only read it once.)
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On June 13th, 2007 04:02 pm (UTC), best_of_five commented:
-pets- what i wanna know is how you made the word blink...
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On June 13th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
There's an html tag, < blink > and < / blink > (no spaces). Use responsibly because it's kind of evil. I use it mostly for nostalgia: I remember in the mid-90s it was SO way overused.

Also, like, an unclosed blink tag has the potential to make someone's entire flist blink, I think. Heee. Sabotage!
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On June 13th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC), arglikeapirate commented:
Ahahahahaha. That's fantastic. I never caught that!

It was probably the hard work that went to his head, even Percy isn't perfect.
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On June 13th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
I agree. Poor Percy, so overworked. La, he clearly needs someone to take care of him! :D
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On June 13th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC), acidpop25 commented:
It has to be JKR.

...I think I died a little inside.
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On June 13th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
I agree.

(And I'm so glad other people are understanding the wrongness of this, from PERCY. This isn't the sort of thing most of my RL acquaintances would really understand. Ah, fandom.)
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On June 13th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC), petitecrivan commented:
It's the editors. *nods knowingly*
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On June 13th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:

And I love your icon. That cover art is so fantastically eerie, and I love Harry's expression: it's so determined and Gryffindoric. *wibbles excitedly for last book*
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On July 19th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC), gooofy commented:
"if I was" and "if I were" have been used interchangeably in counterfactual clauses for the past 300 years. Some usage books acknowledge that both uses are standard English.
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On July 20th, 2007 10:01 am (UTC), eloiselovelace replied:
I'm not a native speaker, so good to know! I always thought it was one of those things that was technically wrong, but just very very widespread in colloquial usage. Thanks for the heads up - and my faith in Percy has been restored. :)
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