errantry concordance

cosmofex  asked:

There's something i've been curious about: How do you come up with the magic-scientific terminology? Because I have previously looked up "claudication" and it turns out it's a medical term for leg cramps which, unless i'm missing steps in the logic chain, doesn't lead to "worldgate" easily. Is it just what sounds nice and sciency or is it based on actual terminology? (also confusing is online dictionaries "use in a sentence" using YW quotes, which don't match meanings, so it's not super helpful)

I really have to find a little time in the next little while to get the new installation of the Errantry Concordance kickstarted. (The old one had to be removed because it was constantly under attack by hackbots of various kinds trying to use it to house links to counterfeit Viagra.) (sigh)

Anyway: Most wizardly terminology in the YW universe is derived either from (broadly) scientific terminology or (more narrowly) medical terminology twisted slightly out of shape and/or subverted to my own purposes. Almost all terms are derived from Latin or Greek roots and assembled in ways consistent with the ways in which scientific terms are formed. (I took Latin in high school because I knew it to be a primary language of science and felt sure I’d be wanting it in college. The Greek came along with that more as a gateway into the ancient classics than anything else, but it too gets used routinely in scientific terminology.) I prefer to use genuine scientific concepts and terms to generate wizardly ones, because (a) I enjoy it and (b) I am lazy. Why waste time and energy making terms up when so many real ones are  lying around just waiting to be used? …But also: wizardly terms constructed using valid scientific usage sound more real. And the more truth you add to a lie, the stronger it gets. :)

Re claudication: The word goes back, originally, to the Latin claudo- root that means to shut or block something up. It also later came to mean a limp or lameness secondary to what was seen in ancient times as a blockage of local blood supply. This is also where the Emperor Claudius got his common appellation, by the way: Claudius is a second name, almost more a nickname than anything else – and too easily translatable as “Gimpy”. He limped from childhood, secondary to a dystonic / movement disorder from which he suffered his whole life and which caused some members of his family (and the public in general) to think of him, and treat him, as if he was mentally deficient – which he definitely was not. (The forensic medical people are still arguing over what was responsible for this disorder: possibly cerebral palsy or a childhood neurological insult via something like infectious encephalitis. See this article for what look like the best conjectures so far.)

…Whatever: where were we? When I was studying nursing, the term claudication was in general use to describe a narrowing or constriction of blood vessels (up to the point of obstruction, anyway, at which point other terminology cuts in). So when I started thinking about the concept of giving wizards a little portable pocket in spacetime, the word “claudication” naturally suggested itself, and “temporospatial” seemed an unavoidable add-on.

Therefore the entry in the Concordance defines claudication as:

A pinching or obstruction in some structure or medium through which another medium is normally meant to pass or flow freely. In wizardly usage, a constriction – normally artificial, but occasionally natural – in the structure of space, or (in the case of temporospatial claudications) of spacetime.

The most frequent casual usage for the term describes a small, “pinched-off” volume of space. Since space is already amenable to this kind of pinching (a much gentler version of which manifests itself as gravity), many wizards use one of these to keep personal belongings in. A claudication can be “hooked to” or associated with a specific mass – usually the wizard’s own body – so that it permanently follows the wizard around and is always within reach.

The definition for temporospatial claudication is a bit more specific:

Any pinching or constriction that affects both a volume of space and a segment of time or timeflow. Usually a temporospatial claudication is artificially induced, but there are occasional incidences of the effect in nature. (Black holes, for example, can sometimes have temporospatial claudications associated with them.)

The term is also used to describe a small pinched-off volume of spacetime kept for wizardly purposes. (SYWTBAW, et al)

So there you have it. Thanks for asking!

ccshuy  asked:

Where can the Rodriguez family (including Mrs. Rodriguez) trace their ancestry to before they arrived in New York, since the Spanish speaking world is pretty big? (or will we find out in the near future?) For that matter, where can the Callahans trace their ancestry? With all of the "find your ancestry" services these days, I was curious.

Well, Dad Rodriguez (Juan C.: I need to find out what the C stands for… ) is a first-generation NYer born of Puerto Rican descent on both sides. I believe there’s also some Spanish (paternal line) and Mexican (maternal line) ancestry based in PR that goes back to the pre-Spanish-American War period, before the US invaded.

Mom Rodriguez is also NY born of a Puerto Rican mother and an Italian father (her maiden name is Bellario). Maternal grandparents are both PR, I think. I seem to remember her paternal grandparents as being Italian and Greek… must check my notes.

At the Callahan end of things: on Harry’s side, the family is of NY Irish descent for a generation, but of native Irish / Northern Irish further back (people in the US tend to use the euphemism “Scots-Irish” for Protestant Northern families). Betty was Midwest-born, if I remember, of families with significant Scots roots, though they’d been US born for at least the last couple of generations. I could also swear there’s some Greek in there too, but again I’d have to check my notes on that as well.

I can see I’m going to have to chart all this out. NOW see what you’ve done. :)

(I also have to say, just as an afterthought, that it sometimes amuses me a bit when reviewers see the first name “Juanita” and automatically assume that she’s as Hispanic as Kit is. All I can do in such situations is praise the reviewer’s commitment to diversity, while wondering just a wee little bit about their ability to read for context. (Because, well, Callahan… isn’t it possible that something else is going on there? Oh well, never mind. At least they’re reading.))

ETA: to @adeterminedloser: Nita is named after a good friend of mine, a nurse I used to work with in NY. “Juanita” was a surprisingly common name for non-Hispanic girls in the 50s.

BTW, I forgot to mention: I’ve relocated the old Errantry Concordance wiki to for the time being, preparatory to starting to relocate all its material into the Wordpress installation at Probably this is going to take most of the summer… (sigh) (collapse)

zeldaandbooksandstuff  asked:

What would you say the Young Wizard series Fandom symbol is? Harry Potter have the deathly hallows, Percy Jackson has the trident, but what do we have?

The most likely candidate seems to be the Wizard’s Knot. People noticed the very simple image of it in the Errantry Concordance and started using it for jewelry, in 3D printing, even as tattoos.

I noticed this and said to myself “Yeah, that seems like a winner”, so as soon as I can get a truly symmetrical version of it*, it will be appearing on the covers of the YW New Millennium Editions when we recover them next year.

Here are a few 2D variants…

*I may actually have to sit down and do this thing on paper with a French curve, as KnotPlot is being incredibly cranky about it (I’m sure it can do what I want: the problem is figuring out how to tell it, as the documentation is… a tad sparse).  The image below is as close as I’ve managed to get to symmetrical so far.

Some stuff about to start going on at

I’ve known for a good while that the main website needs a makeover, and so have been working on this for a couple of months, on and off, when my eyes have been working. But last week we headed off to the Discworld convention, and wouldn’t that just be the point (when we’re just settling in) that Google gets in touch with me to let me know that some scammer / spammer / SOB somewhere has hacked one or more of its pages and done an injection exploit on the domain’s root URL.

So then an afternoon of annoyed site-fixing crap ensues (roll database back to pre-hack status, update Drupal core and install new security updates on all the bloody modules, yadda yadda yadda…). And at the end of it I say, “Screw it, I can’t be having with this, the new site is going online next weekend.”

And so it shall be. The site won’t be perfect for some days* – the business of migrating a Drupal site to a WordPress install (which is what I’ve been up to) isn’t all that simple and dealing with the URL changes and structural differences will remain exciting for a while – but I think the general alteration of the look and feel will be worthwhile. In particular the site is going to behave much more like a portal to all things Young Wizards-ish, and be more of a place where people want to linger and rummage. Which is all to the good.

Anyway, this is just a warning to those here who might dip in and out of the site on occasion that the site will probably be completely down for some hours between Saturday PM and Sunday AM (Irish time) while I move the WP install into the root and move the Drupal install out of it. (ETA: this won’t affect the Errantry Concordance or the YW Discussion Forums.) After that we’ll still be doing some moving-things-around work and starting the various URL redirects working, but that’s all under-the-hood stuff and shouldn’t interfere with anyone’s usage.

So, just a heads-up. Thanks, all. :)

*Is any website ever?

acelessthan3  asked:

Rereading Wizards Abroad (NME), and I was wondering, do we ever meet or learn more about the North American Regional? Nita briefly ponders this... entity's identity during the pub meeting, but is quickly distracted. Promotional material for Games Wizards Play hints at the possibility of meeting Earth's Planetary Wizard so I assume at least some information about Earth's wizardly hierarchies/bureaucracy/leadership is forthcoming.

Short answer: Not the NA Regional, but we do wind up meeting people a touch higher up the chain of command. A more specific answer would be spoilery, so I’m not going to get into further detail here. Keep reading and you’ll find out. :)

Longer answer: from the Errantry Concordance: some general info under the cut.

Keep reading