Tags: house

tj plotting

for what prize I woot not

Sometimes I sore regret that I grew up with a language which makes no distinction between formal and informal pronouns.

This comes up because I seem to be writing Boston Legal fic as a Sir Thomas Malory pastiche, and while Late Middle English *grammar* I can manage pretty instinctively, I keep having to stop and think about whether to use 'you' or 'thou'. Okay, so it's not as hard as it *could* be - clearly King Dennys uses 'thou' to *everyone*, because *everyone* is inferior to Dennys of Cranepool. Sir Alain du Côte, by contrast, always uses 'you', because Sir Alain is familiar with nobody - except with Dennys, and occasionally with whatever damosel he's sleeping with. I have a feeling that Sir Jeraint, the Knight of the Hands, uses 'you' with absolutely everyone, except when he's very nervous and forgets, because it seems like that's one of the social things Asperger's would make difficult. It's when I start with the characters who are more or less normal that I run into trouble.

I suppose that this isn't that big of a difficulty - after all, many modern languages still make the distinction, English being one of the first to drop it, so translators must handle the issue. But when I speak Spanish I usually just go with 'usted' for everyone, because none of my teachers bothered to explain how to choose (and since they all spoke different dialects anyway, they'd probably have contradicted each other), and anyway it's one less set of conjugations to remember. I have a feeling I sound comically old-fashioned, but then my grammar sucks so bad they'd be laughing at me anyway, and better too formal than too informal - anyway usted is the direct translation of English 'you'. And in English I only fall naturally into 'thou' when cursing people.

This is actually the *second* Arthurian pastiche I've attempted in the past few months. The first was an SGA retelling of the romance of "John, the Knight of the Lion", (because who other than John Sheppard would go on adventure, get manipulated into marrying a lady, and then go back to his city and get distracted and completely *forget* that he'd married her?) John uses 'you' graciously toward his men and ungraciously toward his superiors but 'thou' promiscuously towards people he considers his equals. Rodney, by contrast, thous everybody indiscriminately until they earn his respect, at which point he switches to 'you' and sticks with it, even while he's calling them idiots. Elizabeth is scrupulously correct, using 'thou' to inferiors and 'you' to superiors and equals, although she tends to fall back to 'thou' in private, even with Caldwell. Ronon uses 'thou' on everyone except those above him in his direct chain of command, because that's how they did it on Sateda. Teyla and the Athosians only use the formal (except in prayer), although she's been picking up the informal a little with people who use it to her, mostly John. Ford uses 'thou' with his inferiors and equals and 'you' with his superiors and has always felt slightly odd about the Major calling him 'you'.

And, hey, since I went there *anyway* - Mulder thous everybody as a direct affront to his aristocratic background, except when he's being manipulative. He was being manipulative when he met Scully, and then never got around to switching back. Scully is very correct in the same middle-class way as Elizabeth, but the longer she spends around Mulder the looser she gets. House uses thou exclusively except with his parents. And with Wilson's wives and Chase's father, and other attempts to be deliberately obnoxious with it. It took him almost six months to get Chase to stop using 'you' on him, and he still hasn't broken him of being polite to Cuddy and the patients. Cameron switched from 'thou' back to 'you' with him after their date, and Foremen always uses you, except when House suceeds in provoking him. Wilson also uses 'thou' with everyone, but somehow with him they assume it's affectionate rather than contemptuous.

Harry Potter uses 'thou' with everyone he calls by their first name and 'you' with evereybody else, except for Dumbledore and Snape whenever he thinks he can get away with it, and Mr. & Mrs. Weasley because they insist, and Slytherins when he wants to make trouble. Bones uses 'you' with everyone, even small children, except the people she considers hers, which is basically just the stooges and Booth. Hodgins considers 'you' to be a tool of the patriarchy; Zack calls everybody 'you' because whenever he tries to 'thou' somebody he gets shot down, except Hodgins and Bones and (when she's feeling generous) Angela. Booth takes 'thou' from Bones and his army buddies but nobody else.

SG1 always sticks with 'you' except in moments of extreme emotion, except for Daniel, who will at the slightest provocation give you a ten-minute dissertation on why English preserved the informal form, and who likes to randomly switch to 'thou' just to see Jack twitch, and has gotten everybody but Jack to use thou with him off-duty. Jack has never yet called a Goa'uld anything other than 'thou', except that sometimes with General Carter he forgets; and he's been on thou terms with Thor since about ten minutes after they met. The Asgard and the Ancients thou *everybody*, but the Nox don't, even when they're calling us children; the Tollan use 'you' but they make it clear it's only to be polite.

Darnit, now I want to write stories where they really do use middle English pronouns. Oh, wait - there's one open on my desktop right now! What a coincidence! I'll get right to that, then.
tj plotting

I'm not wearing any pants!

Yay spring!

Actually, what was brought to my attention today, which wasn't nearly as relevant in winter, when I generally wear several petticoats, bloomers, and/or stockings under a heavy skirt, and a long coat over it - is that the airflow patterns in and around train stations leave me feeling an awful lot like Marilyn Monroe. Especially, for some reason, the New Carrollton subway station - coming up the stairs it generally looks like I'm wearing a hoop skirt.

I would have gone with not wearing any shoes, either, if the sun had contrived to stay out long enough to warm the sidewalks. Is it normal for going barefoot outside for the first time in spring to feel *that good*? (I'd say 'better than sex', but I have no real basis for comparison. Although the moany noises I was making while wiggling my toes in the grass this afternoon might have led someone to come to a different conclusion.)

And since it's barefoot/sandals time again, time to paint my toenails! I was going to do it during Bones, but alas no Bones. I hates reality shows, yes I does, precious. So I did it during this immensely stupid documentary about the Ten Commandments, instead. They're alternating brown-and-pink on one side, and all pink on the other, for that fetching assymetrical look! With gold glitter on top. And I have new sandals that are exactly like my old ones, and a double-breasted plum-colored suit that Mom bought at Goodwill that matches my plaid fedora.

And speaking of toenail polish - last night's House. I scanned a few community's flists after the episode (as you do) and I'm puzzled by the reaction to the toenail polish. That is, everybody seems to think that he's wearing it *voluntarily*. For eris' sake, this is a guy who's rooming with House! I'd say there's a 50% chance he lost a bet, a 30% chance House did it to him in his sleep, and a 20% chance he got talked into agreeing to it without realizing what was going on, with an accompanying 15% chance that House is currently wearing a complimentary shade. Plus, I totally came out of that ep squealing "House/Cuddy/Wilson" OT3, which also seems to be a unique reaction. House fandom is not nearly cracked enough, considering the canon.

... on that note, the I-can't-believe-it's-not-mpreg House/SG crossover finally hit the length limit for Notepad. Yay! (Not that that's ... very long at all, but for me it is.)

And while I'm doing a very boring entry, might as well go for meme thingy: Stuff that happened on my birthday: Root beer was invented. Star Wars Episode II came out. Star Wars Episode III came out. Liberace was born. David Boreanaz was born. Elliot Ness died. The Feast Day of St. Brendan the Navigator.

tj plotting


In honor of learning about the Nutritional Transition, today I have eaten: a bowl of cereal, a granola bar, a soft pretzel, a cup of Instant Lunch, and some sandwich cookies. Yay, starch!
(One of the few things that makes me wish I lived on my own is the dream of having fried plantains whenever I want them. Mmmm. third world food.)

Even with all that starch, and add in three glasses of milk and a can of guava juice, it's still on the low side of the number of calories I'm supposed to get a day. But, hey, I had fruit, and sweets, and bread, and milk, and salt; the only basic food groups I was missing today were cheese and chocolate.

Anyway and meanwhile. The library book I checked out for my sustainability project has sunk to the bottom of the pile; the one about alternative uses of pharmacologically active herbs among premodern cultures, which I checked out for fic purposes of course, is turning out to be very useful for class. Typical. Plus, I found my credit card marking my place in it from two weeks ago, so now I can renew my paid lj account!

Oh, and I watched this week's House and Bones and Boston Legal tonight while sewing the gauntlets and utility belt for the Drop-Bear's costume. I got stuck on the utility belt - see, KB doesn't actually have a waist, so any sort of substantial belt just looked silly. And then I thought, what do marsupials and superheroes have in common? That's right - Pouches! So even though he's a male koala, he now has a belt with a pouch on it, and is busy trying to tell me what supplies he needs, other than boomerangs, swing line (for doing the DEATH FROM ABOVE bit) and eucalyptus leaves (which are pretty near impossible to get 'round here, but he swears are a miracle drug.)

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tj plotting

Can't sleep, House will eat me.

So last night, I watched the Tuesday TV triad, which seems to have become my TV night while Scifi Friday is out. That being Bones and then House and then Boston Legal.

Last week on Bones I was all about Angel and Bones being epic platonic partners, but apparently, all it took to make me go "they should get married! Right now!" was the introduction of a moppet. It seems that I really am just *that* easy. (They *should* get married, it's just one of the tragedies of our society that marriage is supposed to be about sex, and Angel has no romantic chemistry with anyone.)

Boston Legal *terrifies* me. Okay, partly it terrifies me that it seems to be stellar_dust's favorite show right now. Partly, though? The whole time I'm watching, I'm terrified that DENNY CRANE will slip and lose his concentration and the world will go out - bang! - just like a candle! No, really, DENNY CRANE is god, but he's one of those old gods who's apt to accidently smite someone because he got distracted by a passing goat. I kept expecting him to doze off and unintentionally turn the conference table into a bowl of petunias. It's *freaky* and I'm in a constant state of nervous tension.

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Right, that's enough meta for now. Off I go to think about Greg/Georgia before I sleep!
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