Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Harry (bloody) Potter

This weekend, amongst divers others things, I read (compulsively!) the first of the Harry Potter series. The American edition that's been staring at me, since a close friend started the latest one a few weeks ago. I read a few pages of it a couple of years ago and didn't think much of it, but there's nothing like a recommendation to get you to give it another try, is there.

Why the title of the book had been changed from the original The Philosopher's Stone to The Sorcerer's Stone is beyond me. According to Wikipedia's definition, the Philosopher's Stone is "a mythical substance that supposedly could turn inexpensive metals into gold and/or create an elixir that would make humans immortal". This is how it's used in the novel, too. Yet the American edition of the book (mistakenly and for no apparent reason) renames this the Sorcerer's Stone. How bizarre.

There were also references to "soccer", "bangs" and "Jell-O". (Would Americans really not understand if these were left as "football", "fringe" and "jelly"?) And certain spellings were changed, such as "centre" and "realised" becoming "center" and "realized". Again, why?

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