Friday, 24 August 2007

Another cosmicoincidence!

Just got back from the supermarket, and from having my car cleaned (first time in many moons). While I was waiting for my car, I bought a coffee at Starbucks and was affronted by the barista's blackboard offering 'carmel frappuccino'. That's car-a-mel. Just because everyone pronounces it carmel, is that any reason to spell it that way? And what are carmelised onions?

And then it was on into the supermarket, and the check-out reserved for customers with '10 items or less'; overhearing people behind me talking about 'laying' on the couch ...

This morning, I was reading Harry Potter with my tea and toast and feeling incredibly pissed off to read how Harry had gotten (GRRRR!) into trouble; and there was 'a parcel from Ron's mom'; and finding minuscule spelt min-i-scule (thanks, Sue M for that lesson aeons ago!); and how all the book's -ise and -ice endings have been Americanised, which totally messes with the logic of distinguishing verb from noun ...
That led to my spending a long while wondering if in Australia we treat American literature with similar disrespect? Like completely changing words? Here, the first Harry book is re-titled 'The Sorcerer's Stone' (and they've messed with one of the titles from Philip Pullman's 'Dark Materials' trilogy) ... So you can see the way my mind has been running today. Yes, I do need to get a life, don't I?

Anyway, then I got home to find a parcel in the letterbox: a scarlet T-shirt, ordered for me as a surprise by David, bearing the words: 'Good grammar is hot!' Aaaah!


Suse said...

I think it's appalling that they changed the Harry Potter books in the US to use words like mom and trash etc.

I went to pick up one of my children from a friend's house recently and found him and his pal playing a Harry Potter computer game. Ron, Harry and Hermione all had American accents. It's just ludicrous, not to mention patronising to Americans to presume they won't understand what's going on unless they read/hear Americanised versions of things. The whole POINT of HP is that it is soooo English!

Sorry for long rant. It's one of my bugbears. Obviously.

el zed said...

I agree: very disrespectful to Americans.
Your comment has reminded me: when my three-year-old grandson was here at Christmas time, he'd watch Thomas the Tank Engine on the TV. No Ringo Starr or other similar regional accented actor for the narrator here. Instead it was Alec Baldwin! Can you imagine?
And the big boss was always referred to as Sir Topham Hatt - it was obviously regarded as non-PC to refer to him as the Fat Controller. It was a travesty - especially for my 17-year-old son, who grew up with Thomas in Australia!
Like Harry, Thomas is quintessentially English. It just doesn't work in American.