News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • December 13, 2017, 03:26:32 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1509341 times)

2 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Member
  • Posts: 2799
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Slightly OT, but the hieroglyphs reminded me. When I was in high school, I walked up to the reference desk at the local library looking for a very long word. I knew how many letters long it was, and what it meant, but not the actual word.

Took the reference librarian less than 5 minutes. :-)
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

rain

  • Member
  • Posts: 680
jedi- what's the word?
In search of a tag line

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Member
  • Posts: 2799
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
The one I had was a 3,641-letter chemical name - can't seem to find the actual word online. Wikipedia currently lists a 189,819-letter chemical name as the longest, and a 1,909-letter word as the longest published word, but Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters) is the longest to appear in a major dictionary.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

magicdomino

  • Member
  • Posts: 5806

 You can no longer get James of Goetz-Down passed.  ;D

Normally, I'm in favor of authenticity, but have to admit I really like that one.

Elfmama

  • Member
  • Posts: 4595
  • Derailing threads since 2001!
As background, I'm going to babble about my hobby here, the Society for Creative Anachronism. We are a non-profit group that researches and recreates the Middle Ages and Renaissance, with about 40,000 members worldwide. 

In the Society, I am a herald.  My job is to help people create a persona, a person who could have lived in that era, complete with a name and a coat of arms.   All name components must be documentable to the Society's time period.  Such name and arms are submitted to the Laurel King of Arms, the Society officer who registers them so that no one can use a name or arms that are too similar. 

As part of the paperwork to register a name, people have a number of choices.  One of them is an option to have a name modified to make it authentic for a certain language, culture, and/or time period.  So if you submit "Alice Smith" but ask to have it changed into a form authentic for 14th century France, we can do that. 

OK, end of background.  Where the impossible patron requests come into the story is when people submit a name that is impossible to modify in the form requested.  The patron loves the Russian name "Olga" but wants to have it changed to the 10th century Irish form, as if all names have a counterpart in all other languages in all time periods.  Or wants "Willow of the Fairy Hills" because it's her favorite name from a certain bodice-ripper fantasy romance, but has no documentation whatsoever to prove that it is a name actually used by humans in period.  And again, she wants it made authentic for medieval Irish.  We have concluded that what the patrons really want is for us to wave our Magic Herald Wands and change history, so that Olga and Willow really ARE period Irish names.


Could the character be the daughter of an Irish woman and a Viking man? since the name is also Scandinavian it could work

I'm SCA also.   But unless things are very very different in Elfmama's kingdom, the person registering their name has the obligation to come up with a plausible name and explanation. The herald is supposed to help them find documentation that the name is authentic. Many heralds are very kind and will start earlier in the process, guiding someone with only a vague idea, but that's not a requirement of their job.
The key is 'plausible.'  It's much easier to help a newbie find a good name from the very beginning than it is to do "stunt documentation" for an iffy name that they've used for years and are now attached to.

Olga and Willow were only the tip of the iceberg, believe me.  I've been on Laurel's staff, I was Golden Dolphin Herald, processing submissions for Atlantia, I did six years as Baronial Herald, and I've done consultations at innumerable events.  It is not fun to tell someone that "Moonglow Halfelf", the name they've used for gaming for 20 years and now want to use as their SCA name, is not the name of a human in period.  OTOH, ask me if there is any documentation for names with 'elf' as an element, and I can pull given names, surnames, and place names for your consideration.  Get obnoxious with me and tell me that I just have to accept your persona story because "there isn't any documentation for that time and place"  and I WILL slap you down with facts to the contrary.  And I've pulled a couple of rabbits out of hats for names that other heralds couldn't find in period, one in a needlework book, of all places, and another out of my own family genealogy.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Common sense is not a gift, but a curse.  Because then
you have to deal with all the people who don't have it.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

gingerzing

  • Member
  • Posts: 1277
My favorite story from my mother when she worked in the public library of my hometown. 

A woman walked in and approached Mother to help find a book.  Okay, that is what librarians do. 
"I want the complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe"
<Insert my mother sniggering a bit until she realized that the woman was serious and getting annoyed>  "You want what?"
"Like I said, the Complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe."

It took Mother about 10 minutes to explain why that wasn't going to work.  She could either get Shakespeare or Poe.  But otherwise - Wrong centuries, wrong styles, wrong sides of the ocean...  The woman kept getting angrier and demanded another librarian.  Then got angry when that librarian told her the same thing.  "Here is Shakespeare and here is Poe" 

That and the gal who came in to pick up a book from her high school English list.  "I need a book.  Don't know the title but it is by some dead Greek guy."   :o

hobish

  • Member
  • Posts: 17892
  • Release the gelfling!
I work for a very, very, very large academic institution.  Main campus is one mile east-west by two miles north-south - so 20-40 minutes of walking given having to go around buildings and stop at crosswalks.  I actually work about a half-mile off the south end - my department is off-campus so we don't have the security risk of students wandering into the building.

Not infrequently, we get callers asking us to walk over to check if someone's at their desk, even after we explain that the university has almost 11000 faculty and staff members and the listed office for the person the caller asked about is at least one mile away from our location.

I get that one sometimes, too. "Sir ... we have 9,000 employees spread over 11 buildings in 4 states. No, I cannot just find 'John' for you." They make me laugh.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

Yarnspinner

  • Member
  • Posts: 2777
My eyes are crossing.  I have written about this patron elsewhere, but I think I have to unload the whole tale here before I lose what little is left of my mind.

Bert is a nice guy, but he is obsessive to the point of madness.  He is very interested in the history of Our City and does a lot of research on it.  That's fine. He is also African American which isn't actually important, but does add a twist to this tale.

Unfortunately, he does not research his other obsession, which is proving that before Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office, Herbert Hoover had desegregated the army, Jim Crow did not exist, racism did not exist, everyone got on well in some sort of multicultural utopia, there was happy intermarriage, AND the Depression never happened (Roosevelt invented it to discredit Hoover), college was free to all as were hospitals.  No one went hungry, there were no food lines and....everyone lived in a paradise where no one had to work, etc., etc....

His "proof" are the speeches of Herbert Hoover.  Period.

At first we tried to engage the crazy and explain what real evidence is.  We tried to explain, light heartedly, that a speech given by someone seeking reelection is not evidence and, frankly, that the speeches of pretty much EVERY president since Washington sound an awful lot a like...everything is raining puppies and unicorns cavort about sneezing up rainbows. 

We might as well talk to ourselves as he comes back day after day demanding more and more proof about his belief of the 1930s utopia.  He will stand at our desk and read from the speeches to back up whatever point he is making.  Interesting fact:  both his parents grew up during the Depression, but apparently they are part of the conspiracy to suppress this information.

I said one day "So, my Grandmother was lying about having to take in washing to make ends meet?" and "Medical care was free?  Boy, Gramma got taken for a ride since she and Grampa had to PAY the hospital and the doctor with real cash money when my Uncle was born."  And "Bert, are you calling my Grandmother a liar?"  And he just chuckles and keeps arguing his point.

It has reached a place where we cannot make him go away as he is determined to "open our eyes" to the truth of our current situation.  No matter what information we are able to find for him, he dismisses it, no matter the slant is right left or center...it's all a conspiracy and we have to produce information to prove this consipiracy.

I finally told him that I wanted to stay friends and that he was frustrating that aim and that if he wanted to ask me for help on any other topic, I would help, but if he mentioned Hoover and Roosevelt, I would walk away.  He's been good about not asking me for proof of his theories, but it's still a drain on our time and energy.  Today my colleagues and I were calling each other in order to free up whoever Bert was holding hostage at the time.

I've asked my supervisor if we may start instituting a five minute rule for chatting and slightly delusional people. 

I'm sure this sounds silly and not that big a deal, but this has been going on for six months and daily it becomes more oppressive, especially since we have to deal with multiple versions of Bert embodied in other patrons.

magicdomino

  • Member
  • Posts: 5806
My favorite story from my mother when she worked in the public library of my hometown. 

A woman walked in and approached Mother to help find a book.  Okay, that is what librarians do. 
"I want the complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe"
<Insert my mother sniggering a bit until she realized that the woman was serious and getting annoyed>  "You want what?"
"Like I said, the Complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe."

It took Mother about 10 minutes to explain why that wasn't going to work.  She could either get Shakespeare or Poe.  But otherwise - Wrong centuries, wrong styles, wrong sides of the ocean...  The woman kept getting angrier and demanded another librarian.  Then got angry when that librarian told her the same thing.  "Here is Shakespeare and here is Poe" 

That and the gal who came in to pick up a book from her high school English list.  "I need a book.  Don't know the title but it is by some dead Greek guy."   :o

There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

gingerzing

  • Member
  • Posts: 1277
My favorite story from my mother when she worked in the public library of my hometown. 

A woman walked in and approached Mother to help find a book.  Okay, that is what librarians do. 
"I want the complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe"
<Insert my mother sniggering a bit until she realized that the woman was serious and getting annoyed>  "You want what?"
"Like I said, the Complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe."

It took Mother about 10 minutes to explain why that wasn't going to work.  She could either get Shakespeare or Poe.  But otherwise - Wrong centuries, wrong styles, wrong sides of the ocean...  The woman kept getting angrier and demanded another librarian.  Then got angry when that librarian told her the same thing.  "Here is Shakespeare and here is Poe" 

That and the gal who came in to pick up a book from her high school English list.  "I need a book.  Don't know the title but it is by some dead Greek guy."   :o

There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

Unless Poe did some fancy time-travel and could swim really well.  LOL

kherbert05

  • Member
  • Posts: 7946
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
My favorite story from my mother when she worked in the public library of my hometown. 

A woman walked in and approached Mother to help find a book.  Okay, that is what librarians do. 
"I want the complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe"
<Insert my mother sniggering a bit until she realized that the woman was serious and getting annoyed>  "You want what?"
"Like I said, the Complete works of Shakespeare by Edgar Allen Poe."

It took Mother about 10 minutes to explain why that wasn't going to work.  She could either get Shakespeare or Poe.  But otherwise - Wrong centuries, wrong styles, wrong sides of the ocean...  The woman kept getting angrier and demanded another librarian.  Then got angry when that librarian told her the same thing.  "Here is Shakespeare and here is Poe" 

That and the gal who came in to pick up a book from her high school English list.  "I need a book.  Don't know the title but it is by some dead Greek guy."   :o
Similar but inverted. I was looking for an edition of I Robot with a forward by Harlen Elisson. The lady at the book store kept telling me I Robot was written by Isaac Asimov. So I would say, I kno Isaac Asimove wrote I Robot but I want the edition with the special forward by Harlen Ellison. Finally another employee heard and showed her the edition I wanted to order.


Another time I was in the book store and heard this poor girl arguing that Prince Edward Island was a real place. Her adult and the book store employee kept saying it was made up by L.M. Montgomery. So I picked up an atlas from the reference section found a map on the east coast of Canada and took it over to them. I said excuse me ladies but I think you should see this and showed them the map. I have to give them credit - they apologized to the girl. Then I took a snapshot of Sis, our cousins, and me on a red sand beach with the red clay cliffs behind us - and asked the girl if she wanted to see the red soil of PEI. (PEI has both red sand and white sand beaches. The water at the red sand beaches is warmer than the white sand).
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

PeterM

  • Member
  • Posts: 2326
There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.

thedudeabides

  • Member
  • Posts: 553
There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.

*slow clap*

PastryGoddess

  • Member
  • Posts: 6399
There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.

You may have just won the internet for the week.

Elfmama

  • Member
  • Posts: 4595
  • Derailing threads since 2001!
There are many theories about who wrote the plays we attribute to Shakespeare.  As far as I know, Edgar Allen Poe has never been a candidate.

After H.G. Wells invented the time machine and accidentally allowed Jack The Ripper to escape into the future, he went back in time and asked Poe for help containing the situation. Poe agreed, but he had some demands of his own. Once Wells finally convinced him that there was no way they could remake the Earth into a hollow sphere, even with a time machine, Poe decided to settle for being William Shakespeare. It was dead easy, too, since they just had to bring the complete works back in time with them and have Poe copy them out long-hand. What with all the excitement they clean forgot about Jack The Ripper, but he made the mistake of stopping in Chicago during the Capone era and brought a knife to a gunfight, so happy endings all around.
But then who is buried up in Baltimore in Poe's grave?
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Common sense is not a gift, but a curse.  Because then
you have to deal with all the people who don't have it.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~