Thursday, July 29, 2010
Enid Blyton Gets A Make-over...with updated language
This just in from the Guardian this evening answers a question I've been wondering about for weeks (and, yes, I'm sorry...it's more on Enid Blyton.) Beginning with the first 10 Famous Five books, Blyton's language is being revised in an attempt to give the books greater appeal to today's children. Such phrases as "mercy me" and "awful swotter are being replaced with a more contemporary version (such as "oh no" and "bookworm" respectively) The idea is to make Blyton's novels timeless and to open the opportunity for children to relate to characters and relationships through dialogue. "Children who read [the Famous Five books] need to be able to easily understand the characterisations and easily to get into the plots. If the text is revised [they're] more likely to be able to engage with them.", as Anne McNeil, publishing director of Hodder Children's Books explains. There will be no references to mobile phones, text speak or modren slang. Hodder is "senstively and carefully" revising the language after research with children and their parents showed that the dated original text was preventing young readers from a full enjoyment of the stories. I wonder how Enid would feel?