I’m at the beach with Papaw. The beachhouse we’re in ticks me off every time I go into the bathroom.
I cannot now find it, but james_nicoll at one point made a post saying something like:
“Dear fantasy writer,
The word “gypsy” refers to an actual, reality-based ethnic group. Having gypsies appear on your imaginary world without explanation is roughly equivalent to having the 1982 cast of The Mikado appear on your imaginary world without explanation.”
I think he was talking about a recent book, so I guess this has happened more than once.
Arrow’s Flight page 258:
“The gypsy family who died of snow-sickness two months ago—the ones in the Domesday Book report; wasn’t there a child left living?” she asked, her eyes still a little glazed.
Talia gives the baby to a woman who went mad after her own baby died, and it cures her and they live happily ever after, and it turns out the baby is her son reincarnated. I don’t think these apparent gypsies ever show up again, so I guess they just popped into Valdemar to have the baby and die. That was thoughtful of them.
I don’t know what the Domesday Book was doing in Valdemar, either – it’s not mentioned again after this page, so I guess it went home.
A conversation overheard on Friday:
English Teacher: What color? What color crayon? You already have the red. Purple? Peach?
Japanese Four-Year-Old: Hada! (Translation: skin.)
English Teacher: What? …No. This is peach. “Peach!”
Japanese Four-Year-Old (encouraged by Sensei’s wince): Hada hada hada hada!
English Teacher, patiently: No. Peach.
Japanese Four-Year-Old continues to chant “hada” for about thirty seconds before covering his dog picture with red, to indicate that it is bleeding, or possible that it has eaten somebody.
So it turns out Japanese crayon boxes have/had the same racial issues as American ones. Good to know.