changed words in Harry Potter books

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Jan 23 21:39:50 UTC 2001

M. Salovesh:

>Calling THE Philosopher's Stone some kind of "sorcerer's stone" isn't
>really an instance of the dumbing down of books intended for kids in the
>U.S.  It's a demonstration that dumbing down has already succeeded in
>corrupting the publishing business in this country.

"Corrupted"? I agree. But I suspect that the replacement of "philosopher"
with "sorcerer" was unrelated to the degree of erudition of the editors. If
all of the editorial staff agreed that "philosopher" was clearly correct,
for example, but a marketing survey showed that an additional 100,000
copies probably would be sold if the word "sorcerer" appeared in the title,
what would have been the chosen title? If I had been the author (not a
wealthy person until recently AFAIK), I might have approved this
corrupt/cynical title change. Was the change made throughout the text? If
so, that's somewhat another story.

-- Doug Wilson

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