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It may seem like a trivial question, but the WWN, or the Wizarding Wireless Network seems to take its name from the term "wireless," used earlier in the 20th century. But the magical community doesn't use electricity, just as it doesn't use almost all technology. And without electricity, there's no use of radio waves or the concept of a wireless.

But the term "wireless network" implies a strong understanding of radio and TV networks as well as radio, or the wireless.

It just seems to stick out like a sore thumb, since everything else in Harry Potter seems so well thought out to focus on magical ways of doing things, but this seems almost as if J. K. Rowling just thought, "I need a magical form of radio," and just added "Wizard" to the front of the name for it.

Is there any background on this? Was it worked out by someone with enough of a muggle connection that they understood the concept of radio networks? If not, how did "wireless network" end up in the name?

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    The Wizarding world was much closer to the Muggle world circa World War II, when Dumbledore and his ex had their little spat (AKA, WWII) – Jeff Feb 20 '12 at 14:38
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    I don't want to make this an answer, but it seems to me that even if it runs entirely by magic, a Muggle-aware wizard might have named the system "wireless network" after the thing the muggles had - possibly as a joke. – DJClayworth Feb 21 '12 at 17:02
  • Out or universe, the acronym it is clearly intended to be similar to WWW (World Wide Web). – Blackwood Jun 23 '16 at 20:05
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As Stu said, there are no mentions of terms WWN/Wireless in any Rowling interviews etc...

However, wizards DO use technology from Muggle world (Glasses?) so them taking on a Wireless radio is not impossible.


As far as knowing what the Wireless radio network is (and the name), there are 2 options:

  1. There are plenty of Muggle-born wizards. They would be aware of it.

  2. Or, people tasked with monitoring Muggle inventions took note:

    Self-ironing robes are robes which automatically smooth wrinkles out of themselves by magic. This invention was one of several possible answers to a multiple choice question on the second W.O.M.B.A.T. test, which asked, "Which of the following is the ONLY magical invention whose effect has not yet been duplicated FULLY by Muggle ingenuity?"

    Therefore it's quite possible that someone in magical world monitors all of Muggle inventions and therefore would easily be aware of Wireless communications, as they are of other Muggle inventions (Think Arthur Weasley).

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I don't remember seeing anything JKR specific around this.

In a purely magical world it's unlikely that something like WWN would ever be created, however in a mixed magical/muggle world it's probable that the concept (and hence the word) was brought over by a muggle and then given the magical treatment.

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It was inspired by the muggle wireless network

While they have no need of mundane domestic objects such as dishwashers or vacuum cleaners, some members of the magical community are amused by Muggle television, and a few firebrand wizards even went so far, in the early eighties, as to start a British Wizarding Broadcasting Corporation, in the hope that they would be able to have their own television channel. The project foundered at an early stage, as the Ministry of Magic refused to countenance the broadcasting of wizarding material on a Muggle device, which would (it was felt) almost guarantee serious breaches of the International Statute of Secrecy.

Some felt, and with justification, that this decision was inconsistent and unfair, as many radios have been legally modified by the wizarding community for their own use, which broadcast regular wizarding programmes. The Ministry conceded that Muggles frequently catch snippets of advice on, for instance, how to prune a Venomous Tentacula, or how best to remove gnomes from a cabbage bed, but argued that the radio-listening Muggle population seems altogether more tolerant, gullible, or less convinced of their own good sense, than Muggle TV viewers. Reasons for this anomaly are examined at length in Professor Mordicus Egg's The Philosophy of the Mundane: Why the Muggles Prefer Not to Know. Professor Egg argues cogently that Muggles are much more likely to believe they have misheard something than that they are hallucinating.
(Pottermore - Technology)

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Do not forget that the ranks of those considered wizards include "mud bloods" such as Hermione and muggle friendly wizards like Dumbledore. also, wizards hve outright stolen muggle devices before, as Pottermore states that the Hogwarts Express is a Stolen Muggle Train heavily modified and altered with magic -modified like Arthur messed with the Anglia. Collin Creevy and his brother are I think examples of wizards who want magic versions of muggle technology and so make them, and of course there are other photographers as well. So, the muggles come up with this thing called the wireless or Radio, and at first its sort of no contest with wizarding communications because they just talk on it.but then someone gets the bright idea of using it for music and entertainment , and the wizards want in. Of course their version is based on the muggle version, it looks like it, it has a simamelar name- for that matter some of the early models of wwn may in fact be modified muggl.e tech, Arthur Wesley style, but i think eventually the wizzards learn to make their own. it does mot run on normal radio waves, the name is in honnor of what inspired it. but magic can work like electricity and electronics on some levels. if you put a real muggle wireless near it you'd get static or white noise unless the radio was magically altered. like a telephone trying to play a fax signal. (actually thats worse than static) but thats my oppinion...

  • Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! This looks quite speculative, though. Can you provide any sources which support your claims? – Null Jun 23 '16 at 20:03

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