Friday, December 4, 2015

On old language, on old customs, and on fleek

I so wanted to say my heroine was a "deer in the headlights" when the king looked at her. But she's a 17th century young lady. No headlights. (I mean other than *snerk* sophomoric humor. I said HEADLIGHTS!)

And I very nearly said they were "going full steam ahead" the other day. Yeah.... no.

Some days, I have to think about it.

Should I say "subconscious"? (No.)

How do I describe a panic attack? (By the symptoms. This section needs work, because I think she sounds more like she has asthma. And it's my work in progress, so I haven't figured out exactly what caused her to have panic attacks.)

Did they have chiropractors in the 17th century? (No. But I have a midwife teach stretches when the surgeons and physicians fail my character.)

How about opium? (It was just starting to appear as a medicine.)

And coffee? Tea? (Mostly the wealthy. Mme de Sévigné liked coffee with lots of milk and sugar. She also liked it weak, then chewed the grounds in the bottom. URG.)

AND CHOCOLATE??? (Also for the wealthy. As a drink and closely associated with coffee. Louis XIV brewed up his own in his rooms.)

And if you think that scientists can't agree on if coffee, tea, and chocolate are good for you nowadays, you should see the difference in opinions of the 17th century. I've been flipping through Orientalism in Early Modern France, by Ina Baghdiantz McCabe on Google books as I wait for it to come through Link+ at the library. Coffee's the best thing in the world! It's going to kill you! It makes you strong! It makes you weak!

So anyway, I am trying to keep to old expressions. I'm sure there are errors in the age of words that I use. I know my language is 20th/21st century, besides not being French. Heck, even my French expressions aren't necessarily period-correct. A French-speaking friend asked my if they would really have said "putain de merde" (and no, I won't translate), and I honestly had no idea. They were probably saying something much much worse. No one says "OK" and I have never even considered describing someone, no matter how prettily their hair stuck up, as "on fleek."

Though this guy is definitely on fleek.

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