They're surprisingly good, Steven. Quite Dickensian in fact
Rowling was at one point a teacher, and the subtext to some of her books is concerned with the central government interfering in education (a local matter) which happened in the UK at the beginning of Tony Blair's regime, including the closing of Grammar Schools in many areas. Grammar Schools were the type of Secondary Education which produced virtually the entirety of Tony Blair's cabinet. Instead there was a body created called OffStEd, the Office for Standards in Education which went to various schools in poorer less well performing areas, bothering the teachers and threatening firings because the kids weren't performing well on standardized tests. Rowling uses the term OffWitch for some regulatory group in the Ministry for Magic.
In book 5, The Order of the Phoenix for example: the gloriously named Dolores Umbridge is appointed as the High Inquisitor at Hogwart's School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, evaluating all the teachers at the school and generally making life miserable for some of the staff and more of the students.
"dolor, doloris" is Latin for "Pain", and "umbrage" is English for "to find offence or insult in something said or done". The phrase is usually, "to take umbrage at" something said or done. Heaven knows Umbridge is a painful woman who likes inflicting pain on others.
The term malapropism, for a word that sounds like the one intended, but has another meaning is based on Mrs Malaprop, a character from Dickens famous for garbling her speech that way. "Like an allegory basking on the banks of the Nile." is one of hers, I believe. (Allegory substituted for Alligator. Alligators are native to the southern US and nowhere else. The rest are crocodiles and caymans of various species.)
Was this reply helpful? (0) (0)