During your weeks in this course you will find that Muggles, just like Wizards, have their own language of sorts to describe the objects and actions of their everyday lives. And, just as a Muggle would find it entirely befuddling to hear you talk of Patronuses, Butterbeer, and Animagi, there are many vocabulary words that are exclusive to Muggles. You will be required to become familiar with all of these terms and their definitions throughout the course. Many of the most important and prominent aspects of Muggle life rest on these few small words, so please take note and study them well!
Basic Muggle Vocabulary:
Laptop/Computer: A shiny, rectangular mirror that allows Muggles to interact with each other over vast distances without any animal carrier. The “Laptop/Computer” or mirror also appears to contain an all-knowing seer within that allows the owner access to hundreds of libraries worth of information.
Cellphones allow owl-like messaging, with increased risk of misconstrued intent due to the rapid-fire delivery.
Cellphone/Mobile: A smaller version of a “Laptop/Computer” that also functions as a miniature owl of sorts, sending sometimes hundreds of messages per day to other Muggles. Now imagine that the “Cellphone/Mobile” or miniature owl has many different breeds of tiny owls living within it that all have different ways of flying messages to their friends. It’s unclear why they need the smaller owls within their already small owl.
Car/Automobile: As Muggles are not able to use floo powder or portkeys, apparate, or fly on brooms or other enchanted creatures, they have developed “Cars/Automobiles” as a method of transportation. “Cars/Automobiles” are large metal machines with windows propelled forward by various mysterious contraptions and a liquid similar to dragon boogies.
Skype: Skype is almost identical to face-to-face floo powder communication. Instead of placing one’s head into a fireplace, however, a Muggle merely sits in front of their “Computer/Laptop” while another Muggle sits in front of their “Computer/Laptop,” and they are able to communicate.
Skype is much safer than face-to-face floo-powder communication.
Google: A possibly sinister beast that contains the answers to all questions. It has more knowledge than Hogwarts library (including the restricted section) and can find information in halves of seconds. The Wizarding community is researching whether this technology needs to be put to a stop. Or perhaps adopted.
Social Media: Many Muggles find interacting with other Muggles very straining, so they have invented a way to have fake interactions. There are various methods of having these imagined or false relationships, and participating in such methods has become essential to daily life as a Muggle.
Facebook: A fading form of “Social Media” where you can see what all of your friends (and people who you have met one or twice) claim to be doing at all times. It is a collection of their written thoughts and photographs, like a scrapbook or diary that you, as their “friend,” are expected to look through and congratulate them on constantly.
Instagram: For those too overwhelmed by the interaction with others on Facebook, Instagram is “Social Media” that is a mostly visual means of communication with others. Despite seeming less intrusive than Facebook, Instagram is now often used as a means to make most of the Muggle population hate their own lives.
Twitter: Muggles do not seem to have a firm grasp of what this “Social Media” technology is or why it exists. It may be some form of punishment for those who are usually too loquacious, as it limits you to writing in a small box with only 140 letters at a time.
Snapchat: Although Howlers are not an exact equivalent, their transient nature is a key part of the “Social Media,” Snapchat. Snapchat is another way to message a friend through text or image, but the messages only last a short period of time. Just as a Howler burst into flames upon delivery of its message, Snapchat ceases to exist after a twenty-four hour period. Younger Muggles have taken to futilely recording every moment of their lives with this technology only to allow them to disappear into dust once more after the allotted time.
Like Howlers, Snaps are fleeting.
Movie/Film: Imagine if someone read you a story over the radio. Now imagine if there were pictures to go along with the story, and the pictures moved. Yes, it would be amazing. Yes, Muggles have these.
Television/TV Show: Imagine if you watched the men and women in the portraits interact for an hour, but they intentionally added a set storyline. Now imagine that you watched them for an hour every week and the storyline expanded to include various other portraits.
Advanced Level Muggle Vocabulary:
Apps: Wizarding research has yet to fully understand the full meaning of the word “App” as applied to “Cellphones/Mobiles.” “Apps” appear to be small boxes on “Cellphones/Mobiles” that have too many functions and uses to calculate, and that multiply and disappear with seemingly no explanation.
Uber: Uber is an “App” on Muggle “Cellphones/Mobiles” that contacts a stranger who owns a “Car/Automobile.” The “App” then tells the stranger the Muggle’s exact location. The Muggle then pays the stranger to be relocated to a new place via their “Cellphone/Mobile.” Much safer than the Knight Bus.
Reality TV: A type of “TV Show” that gives a frightening look into Muggle society. Wizards believe that the dark Muggles on “Reality TV” may not know that they are being watched, and perhaps “Reality TV” is in fact some sort of secret surveillance channel to make sure these dark Muggles can only cause limited harm to society. We will further explore this when we watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
FOMO or Fear of Missing Out: This is not a purely Muggle term, but was coined by Muggles. Fear of Missing Out can be applied to any situation where you begin to question your entire existence based on the insidious thought that others are having more fun than you. For example: Draco suffered from severe FOMO when Harry got a new Firebolt and let all of his Gryffindor friends ride around on it.
If you choose to continue your studies next year you will discover further Muggle mysteries like Vine, “She Hasn’t Got the Range,” and Craigslist.