trains and Harry Potter was: Re: crumpets & muffins

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Thu Jan 18 15:26:46 UTC 2001

--On Thursday, January 18, 2001 10:02 am -0500 Tony Glaser
<tonyglaser at MINDSPRING.COM> wrote:

>> I was in the train station today, reading my US-bought Harry Potter and
>> came across Harry and Ron eating English muffins.  I thought "I wonder
>> whether the original version had 'muffins' or 'crumpets'."  So, went to
>> the newstand, picked up the UK edition, and found the answer:  crumpets.
> Train station? So you must have been in the US, surely! :)

I go to the train station all the time here.  What else should I call it

>> Now, why the editors at Scholastic Books think that "sorcerer" is the US
>> translation of "philosopher"...well, that's another matter.
> I read somewhere (Newsweek or Time, I think) that this was done to
> defuse potential protests from Christian fundamentalists and others
> who would perceive "sorcerer" as suggestive of Satanism etc. etc.

That reasoning is backward:  It was changed from _philosopher's_ in the UK
to _sorcerer's_ in the US.  (The UK version came first.)  Instead, it would
seem that the US publisher felt that 'philosopher' was too uninviting a
word for a title.

M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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