Thursday, January 22, 2015
Get On Your Soapbox #27
So, you can imagine my disgust when I saw a copy of The Magic Faraway Tree at a bookshop, and the characters' names had been changed. Instead of Jo, Bessie, Fanny and Dick, they were now Joe, Beth, Frannie and Rick!
After doing a bit of Googling, it appears the main two reasons for the change are that Fanny and Dick have certain 'connotations' for today's children, and the new names make the books more appealing to an American audience. Apparently Beth is a more modern derivative of Elizabeth than Bessie.
When I was a child I knew the other meaning of Fanny and Dick. But who cares? The books were written in the context of the 1940s. Just enjoy the story. Yes, their names are FANNY and DICK, how funny, how rude....GET OVER IT!
And why, WHY does everything have to be changed to cater for Americans? I don't see any Australianised versions of popular American books out there. I'm sick of seeing Australians translating our lingo for Americans (bikkie means cookie, arvo is afternoon, Hungry Jack's is Burger King etc.). I grew up reading Judy Blume and I had no idea what a barrette was, or bangs....you eventually figure it out (oh, a barrette is a hair clip, bangs are a fringe). Why can't Americans learn about Australian and British culture for a change?
I'm so glad I still have my older, original copies of Enid Blyton's books....Fannies, Dicks and all.