I like to be at least reasonably accurate with my research. That way when I bend the truth beyond all recognition I know I'm doing it. It's on purpose. But sometimes I just plain screw up. Take, for example, an email I got from the website over the weekend, from one of our proud ladies in blue -- yes, a genuine Grampian Police Officer. A WPC.
Or not as it turns out. Seems they dropped the 'W' part of the title ages ago, they are no longer Women Police Constables, now they're all just Police Constables. Bugger. I mean, it's all well and good in a touchy-feely, politically-correct, all mates together kind of way, but it makes my life more difficult, damnit! Now I can't get away with saying things like:
Logan grabbed his coat and a WPC, if he had to tell some eighty year old woman her only son was dead he was damned if he was doing it alone.
Now it's going to have to be all:
Logan grabbed his coat and a PC -- who also happened to be a woman, not that it was important in the scheme of things: women being every bit as good at cracking skulls and making prisoners fall down stairs as their male counterparts* -- if he had to tell some eighty year old woman her only son was dead he was damned if he was doing it alone.
Being able to lob a WPC about the place gave a bit of verisimilitude to an otherwise bland and uninspired narrative. Now I'm going to have to get all 'creative' and 'thinky'. If I want it to be a PC, who just happens to be female, then I'm going to have to find some other way of saying it. Taking off that one letter suddenly makes a whole lot of work.
Of course, I could just ignore it and pretend that it never happened. That in MY world they're still called WPCs... But then I'd feel like a fraud. Well, more like a fraud than normal anyway.
Next thing you know they'll be telling me female police officers don't wear short skirts and those jaunty little hats any more. Then where will we all go for our fantasies?
* Joke! Joke! Put down the truncheon!