Thursday, March 28, 2019

Books and Bluster

Dateline: Golden Beach 

  It's been a blustery couple of days. The surf's up again and walking with my neighbours (yes, spell check, I mean neighBOURS) this morning felt bracing. We passed a man wearing a green puffa who looked as if he was out for a hike on the Yorkshire moors, or a flat version thereof. The conversation often turns to books and I to a familiar grumble. Why do British books published in America change words to suit American readers? I've read plenty of American books in my life - starting in my childhood with Little Women and What Katy Did, not to mention Little House on the Prairie. They were full of American words and sayings and I didn't need a translator. It's actually interesting to learn that our languages do have differences and how people across the pond express things. And it's not that mentally challenging. It seems to me it's nothing but an insult to American readers, who are not stupid. But I suppose they think it's all about maximising sales and $$$$.
   The current book for the library book club is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry , about which I could say many things, primarily that, if you are looking for a story to cheer you up, this is not it. It does however have some good descriptions of Britain and is actually written by someone who lives there and knows it - unlike various other book club books purporting to be about Britain that I've had to suffer through. But what do you know, up pop "zucchini" and "push pin" and "funeral home" and so on and so forth. Hubby is reading the new biography of Churchill by Andrew Roberts - bought in America. He's enjoying it, apart from the occasional mild explosion,  "They're at it again!  'Soldier servant' substituted for 'batman.'" Which is what they did with the  Downton Abbey American version. It's probably one of those things I'm never going to be able to change but I'd just love to know the reason why.

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