District Judge Robert Patterson Jr., who admitted (without embarrassment, presumably) that he found the “magical world” of the Harry Potter book series “hard to follow, filled with strange names and words that would be gibberish in any other context.” (Judge Patterson, by the way, presided over the recently concluded copyright trial involving J.K. Rowling and RDR Books, would-be publishers of the Harry Potter Lexicon.)
Now this is a first – an adult actually claiming that Harry Potter is too confusing. And not just any adult, but one who presumably graduated from law school at some point and is capable of reading and comprehending rather complex legal briefs and literature. And a quick check reveals that, indeed, the Hon. Judge Patterson graduated from Harvard and Columbia Law. Of course that was during the Truman administration, so I guess I can see why he might be so confounded.
So to help the judge to render a fair verdict, I’d like to publish a mini-lexicon of my own for his personal use (please don’t sue me J.K.)…
Spell – Something a magic-type person performs to make stuff happen. Comprehendum stupendum, for instance, gives clueless elderly magistrates the ability to understand books aimed primarily at pre-teens.
Deluminator – Invention that can snuff out lights. Sort of the magical equivalent of the Clapper.
Wand – A stick you wave about to make spells work.
Pensieve – A stone, bird-bath looking thing that lets you store and later retrieve memories, ensuring that the pain and misery of high school will stay fresh forever.
Quidditch – A fictional sport containing elements of soccer, hockey, and cricket. A real-life derivative of the game gives sheltered, socially awkward college students the opportunity to get some fresh air.
Centaurs – A noble and highly intelligent race of half-human, half-equine men whose ability to curb themselves makes them unique among four-legged creatures.
Cape – A loose, open garment worn over the shoulders. It usually serves no magical purpose but does look damn sophisticated.