Here at the campaign headquarters of EMPIRE (Everyone Must Post In Reasonable English), it has become almost impossible to ignore the increasing levels of tension and anticipation that are permeating the small but somewhat excitable world that is the Harry Potter fandom.
While we fully understand the growing excitement, and even share it to some degree, we are nonetheless becoming a little concerned. You see, we enjoy a literary launch party as much as the next drunken B-list celebrity hanger-on, but we certainly don't view it as an excuse for letting semantic standards slip. We'd even go so far as to say that HBP (the Half-Blood Prince) is not an excuse for HBP (Half-Baked Prose).
With this in mind, here is a handy three-stage checklist for the coming week, to make sure that you're able to discuss all the relevant issues in a mature and literate manner, and so set a sparkling standard for the whole fandom to follow. (And goodness only knows, they need one.)
The EMPIRE Guide To Things To Say When HBP Comes Out
STAGE 1: Anticipation – Preparing for the Big Day
Don't say: SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Do say: I am excited by this forthcoming literary event.
Don't say: I'm liek gonna KULL JK if she KULLS Remus/Draco/Snape she will be SO ToTaLLy DED 4EVAH!!!
Do say: I'm certain that the author has clear intentions for her oeuvre, and that she has fully thought through the consequences of all plot developments.
Don't say: i liek totally KNO who'z gonna be teh half-blood prince liek woah because liek my neighbor's cousin's half-sister's dog stole 17 pages of the book from teh bookstore and it liek totally ATE THEM and then threw them back up again all over my front lawn (rotflmao!!!1111) and I liek sat down on the grass and READ TEH VOMIT!!! and that'z how i knoes that Dobby is TEH HBP!!!!!!!1111
Do say: Of course I have my own theories. But I couldn't possibly comment.
STAGE 2: Acquisition – At the Bookstore
Don't say: Teh store is full of squeeing fangurls liek woah!!1111 Suxin LOOZERZZZZZ!!!!!1111
Do say: What a refreshing change to socialize with people from a wide range of social backgrounds.
Don't say: Get those SUXIN little brats out of my way, grandma!!
Do say: Isn't it nice to see all age groups coming together to promote literacy?
Don't say: WTF? WHY iz this book so FREAXIN HUGE?? Is it becoz JK's ego is liek the size of JuPiTeR and her editor liek totally SUXX0rs???"
Do say: Do you have an extra-strong carrier bag, please?
STAGE 3: Appreciation – Literary Criticism
Don't say: OMG!!!!!!! She killed [Whoever Dies]!!!!!!!!!!! *sobs* *wails* *slits wrists*
Do say: Goodness, this will certainly create a crisis point in Harry's ongoing emotional journey.
If Dumbledore is the one who dies, a suitable alternative would be: Well, the old boy had a good innings.
Don't say:OMG! OMG! Harry can't kiss HER. SHE TOTALY SUXXES!!! SQUICCKKKKKYYYYY!!!
Do say: Isn't young love charming?
Don't say: WHERE IZ DA HOT SLASHY 2-BOY ACTION????? JK you SUXIN repressed BITCH!!!111
Do say: Marcel Proust, wouldst that thou were living in this hour!
Don't say: It's liek totally NOT as good as my friend's 279-chapter Blaise Zabini/Crookshanks bestiality fic!!!111 OMGTHEIRFURRYLURVEISSOCANON
Do say: "....." (We feel a discreet silence might be the most appropriate response here.)
Don't say: FREAXIN HELL!! WHY is this BLOODY FANDOM full of such STOOPID frigging IDIOTS???? DUHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do say: Put the kettle on, please. I do believe I feel one of my turns coming on....
By redscharlach. Seen in metaquotes.