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Harold Potter - philospher’s/sorcerer’s
Posted: 10 September 2011 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Presumably J.K. adapted it as a noun.

More likely she knew it had a long history of use as a noun, as in Halloween = Eve of All Hallows = the day before All Saints’ Day.

In addition to the “saint” meaning, the OED records this obsolete sense: “In pl. applied to the shrines or relics of saints; the gods of the heathen or their shrines.” Her adaptation would seem to be simply from “holy relics” to “powerfully magical relics”, although some characters in the wizarding culture she created venerated them in a way analogous to religious relics.

[ Edited: 10 September 2011 11:52 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 10 September 2011 04:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Don’t look at it with the perspective of 15 years later, when we know how it turned out. It was hardly a “guaranteed blockbuster.” (Few books are.)

That and the rest of Dave’s post is a very good and very informative response to what was a careless oversight on my part. I was thinking of the movie alone, not the book. (yet another doh!) I’ve got to start reading more things more than once before posting. And Dave’s answer may apply to the movie by itself to some extent. Neither Narnia nor The Ring became quite the pheenom that HP did.

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Posted: 10 September 2011 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Neither Narnia nor The Ring became quite the pheenom that HP did.

I’m assuming by “The Ring” you mean The Lord of the Rings. If you’re talking the books, of course not. Both Narnia and LOTR were published in a very different era, without the huge marketing machine that Harry Potter did. Although LOTR was, relative to other books, a huge phenom in the 60s and early 70s.\

If you’re talking about the movies, the LOTR movies did better box office than the first three Potter films. The Fellowship of the Ring did just about the same box office as HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone, about $315M US domestic and $900M worldwide. But box office for the second two LOTR movies rose, but it fell for the next two HP films, although the movies did extremely well by any objective measure. The movies were all released about the same time, the first two pairs for the holiday seasons of 2001 and 2002, with Return of the King in December 2003 and the third HP film for the following summer. So direct comparisons are actually quite meaningful.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe did somewhat less than the first LOTR and HP films, but better than the subsequent HP films. The next two Narnia films weren’t in the same league, but still each grossed in the $400+M range worldwide.

[All box office figures from Box Office Mojo]

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Posted: 10 September 2011 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Hallow as a noun meaning saint has about half a millennium of whiskers but it does seem that Rowling has used it to mean “hallowed thing” rather than hallowed person, which seems to be novel.

edit: soz, techie appears to have answered this

[ Edited: 10 September 2011 08:14 PM by OP Tipping ]
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Posted: 10 September 2011 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Not novel, rather quite old.  Read the definition I quoted from the OED above.

(Posted before I saw OPT’s edit.)

[ Edited: 10 September 2011 08:20 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 11 September 2011 03:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I have a notion that Tolkien uses hallow somewhere in the sense “shrine, holy place”, but I can’t think where - possibly in his translation of Gawain and the Green Knight. (But then Tolkien probably used words like that in everyday life.)

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Posted: 11 September 2011 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Great stuff, thanks - all my inquiries answered.
I have remembered Martin Amis’s Dead Babies was published in the US as Dark Secrets. I later found out from the non-fiction book The Falcon and the Snowman that a dead baby in American slang is a fake ID with the name and date of birth taken from the gravestone of a dead child. This is surely impossible now with computerised databases. I can’t recall if Amis used it in this sense but the title seems to have been too off-putting for his American publishers.

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Posted: 11 September 2011 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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None of my slang dictionaries, including HDAS and Green’s, have dead babies as “fake ids.” So if this was an actual slang term, its use was probably not very widespread.

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Posted: 11 September 2011 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Possibly Amis’s American publishers wanted to avoid invoking the concept of “dead baby joke”, a subgenre of “sick humor” or “gross-out joke”.  I don’t know if that was ever a thing in the UK.

(I hope this doesn’t show up as a double post.  I thought I had posted this comment, but it didn’t show up, so I have rewritten it.)

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Posted: 11 September 2011 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Dave Wilton - 11 September 2011 11:10 AM

None of my slang dictionaries, including HDAS and Green’s, have dead babies as “fake ids.” So if this was an actual slang term, its use was probably not very widespread.

Dr. Techie - 11 September 2011 11:16 AM

Possibly Amis’s American publishers wanted to avoid invoking the concept of “dead baby joke”, a subgenre of “sick humor” or “gross-out joke”.  I don’t know if that was ever a thing in the UK.

I have never heard “dead baby” in slang.  I looked on-line and found little. 

I am pretty sure the “dead baby joke” subgenre Dr_T brings up is likely the ‘slang’ that was desired to be avoided.  They were quite popular in the early 1970’s as a sort of sophomoric, ‘testing cultural limits’ thing.  I see now that they still live on-line, though. 

“Dead baby” does appear as a term in ‘criminal-oriented,’ ‘fake-ID’ stuff, but I don’t think it would be proper to call it slang.  It seems to me to be more like ‘jargon’, ‘argot’, or ‘cant’.

[edit: ‘jargon’, ‘argot’, and ‘cant’ are sub-genre’s of ‘slang’ or technical varieties of slang]

[ Edited: 11 September 2011 12:03 PM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 12 September 2011 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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It is true I have only come across it in the Falcon book where one of the traitors boasts at a party that he is “a lot of dead babies” and the writer explains the term. This is from memory.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I think Hallows is used in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Yes, I should have remembered that.  The place in Minas Tirith where the former stewards and kings of Gondor were buried, and where Denethor tries to prematurely cremate the wounded Faramir, was called The Hallows.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights appeared in the US as The Golden Compass.

If you like LOTR check out The Eye of Argon. with Jim Theis’s full text here.

Excerpt:

“From where do you come barbarian, and by what are you called?” Gasped the complying wench, as Grignr smothered her lips with the blazing touch of his flaming mouth.

The engrossed titan ignored the queries of the inquisitive female, pulling her towards him and crushing her sagging nipples to his yearning chest. Without struggle she gave in, winding her soft arms around the harshly bronzedhide of Grignr corded shoulder blades, as his calloused hands caressed her firm protruding busts.

“You make love well wench,” Admitted Grignr as he reached for the vessel of potent wine his charge had been quaffing.

Theis was 16 when he published it in a local fanzine. Give the writer some.

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Posted: 14 September 2011 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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If you like LOTR check out The Eye of Argon

You got a grudge against Tolkien fans?

[ Edited: 14 September 2011 12:30 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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