American vs. British spelling

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Jacqueline A. Lott

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Feb 3, 2002, 4:08:22 PM2/3/02
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I am finally really getting into my game, and was thinking of changing the
default to American spelling because I'm an American. Then I realized that
my entire game centers around British characters, and to change the spelling
would be a terrible thing to do. Then I realized that all my other text
should be written with British spelling as well.

That having been said, I've visited the following site:

http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm

To those Brits on the list willing to take a glance at that link, do you
find it to be a pretty good resource for an ignorant American such as
myself? And further more, is there anyone interested in volunteering
(months down the road, probably) to be a beta tester solely for the purpose
of catching my spelling errors?

Thanks for the input,
Jacqueline


Jacqueline A. Lott

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Feb 3, 2002, 4:17:13 PM2/3/02
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> And further more, is there anyone interested in volunteering
> (months down the road, probably) to be a beta tester solely for the
purpose
> of catching my spelling errors?

Well, maybe not *solely* for that reason, but someone willing to beta-test
with spelling in mind...


Bruce Stephens

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Feb 3, 2002, 5:54:42 PM2/3/02
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"Jacqueline A. Lott" <Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com> writes:

[...]

> http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm
>
> To those Brits on the list willing to take a glance at that link, do you
> find it to be a pretty good resource for an ignorant American such as
> myself?

I'd rate <http://www.peak.org/~jeremy/dictionary/dict.html> as a
better source. I'd suggest that spelling isn't nearly so important as
vocabulary. Provided you get the obvious things right ("colour"
rather than "color" and so on), then other spellings aren't likely to
be bothersome. I suppose even vocabulary doesn't necessarily matter
much if your audience is primarily American: to British people
"flashlight" would stick out like a sore thumb, but possibly Americans
wouldn't notice a problem.

[...]

Alex Warren

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Feb 3, 2002, 6:09:13 PM2/3/02
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Jacqueline A. Lott wrote:

> That having been said, I've visited the following site:
>
> http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm
>
> To those Brits on the list willing to take a glance at that link, do you
> find it to be a pretty good resource for an ignorant American such as
> myself?

Some things seem to be wrong. I'd never write "banque" or "arguement". There's a
difference between the verb "to program" and a "programme" (noun). "License" is
a verb but "licence" is a noun. "Dreamt" and "dreamed" are equally valid. I
prefer the latter.

That's what I think anyway.


Alex
--
Alex Warren
al...@axeuk.com
Quest - make adventure games easily - http://www.axeuk.com/quest/

Papillon

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Feb 3, 2002, 5:20:47 PM2/3/02
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"Jacqueline A. Lott" <Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com> wrote:

>I am finally really getting into my game, and was thinking of changing the
>default to American spelling because I'm an American. Then I realized that
>my entire game centers around British characters, and to change the spelling
>would be a terrible thing to do. Then I realized that all my other text
>should be written with British spelling as well.

Don't be concerned if it isn't perfect.

I grew up as an American girl who read too many British novels, and
therefore absorbed a handful of British spellings - but not all of them. Led
to a few rows with my teachers....

And now, of course, I've *married* a Brit, and my language choices are even
more confused. Half the time they both look wrong... :)

-papillon
... but I don't care what he says, 'storey' is NOT how I want to spell that
word.

Magnus Olsson

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Feb 4, 2002, 4:55:35 AM2/4/02
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In article <87k7tuq...@cenderis.demon.co.uk>,

I'm neither British nro American, but my experience is that spelling
is not a big problem: after I've read a few pages of a text, my brain
starts filtering out things like "color"/"colour".

What's much more important is vocabulary. Some words are only used
on one side of the pond, while others have radically different meanings
(such as "subway", "vest" or "tights").


--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, m...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~mol ------

Robin Rawson-Tetley

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Feb 4, 2002, 7:24:32 AM2/4/02
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> >I am finally really getting into my game, and was thinking of changing the
> >default to American spelling because I'm an American. Then I realized that
> >my entire game centers around British characters, and to change the spelling
> >would be a terrible thing to do. Then I realized that all my other text
> >should be written with British spelling as well.

Speaking as a Brit, that site you mentioned seems to overlook a lot
and some of it is just plain wrong.

However, I think the line between British and American English has got
rather fuzzy in the last 10 years or so (I blame the high availability
of cable and satellite TV in the UK showing non-stop American
television shows and of course, the internet).

If I were in your shoes, rather than attempting to please a British
audience and investing valuable game development time in getting
spelling and grammar to conform to British English (which inevitably,
_someone_ will say you did wrong somewhere down the line), I would
just write it in American English, get it spot on and rely on the
quality of the game to settle any arguments.

Us Brits have to read American English all the time and I'm sure the
opposite is true for you Yanks as well, so I really doubt anyone would
even notice - just get it right in your own version of the language :)

Cheers,

Bob

Magnus Olsson

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Feb 4, 2002, 7:34:05 AM2/4/02
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In article <e9ceddbb.02020...@posting.google.com>,

Robin Rawson-Tetley <robin.raw...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>> >I am finally really getting into my game, and was thinking of changing the
>> >default to American spelling because I'm an American. Then I realized that
>> >my entire game centers around British characters, and to change the spelling
>> >would be a terrible thing to do. Then I realized that all my other text
>> >should be written with British spelling as well.

(...)

>If I were in your shoes, rather than attempting to please a British
>audience and investing valuable game development time in getting
>spelling and grammar to conform to British English (which inevitably,
>_someone_ will say you did wrong somewhere down the line), I would
>just write it in American English, get it spot on and rely on the
>quality of the game to settle any arguments.
>
>Us Brits have to read American English all the time and I'm sure the
>opposite is true for you Yanks as well, so I really doubt anyone would
>even notice - just get it right in your own version of the language :)

I think you're correct about spelling, but what about vocabulary
and usage? She's writing about British characters - how credible would
they be if they talked just like Americans?

Gary Shannon

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Feb 4, 2002, 11:17:14 AM2/4/02
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"Robin Rawson-Tetley" <robin.raw...@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:e9ceddbb.02020...@posting.google.com...

<snip>


>
> However, I think the line between British and American English has got
> rather fuzzy in the last 10 years or so (I blame the high availability
> of cable and satellite TV in the UK showing non-stop American
> television shows and of course, the internet).

Not to mention non-stop BBC America over here in the colonies. What would I
do without my daily dose of Graham Norton, Ab Fab, Coupling, Junk Yard Wars,
etc.??

We Amuricans are also picking up a lot of British English by such constant
exposure. Why, I'm getting to where I actually understand most of what's
being said on Monty Python! ;-)

--gary

<snip>
> Cheers,
>
> Bob


Julian Fondren

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Feb 4, 2002, 12:50:11 PM2/4/02
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Bruce Stephens <bruce+...@cenderis.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<87k7tuq...@cenderis.demon.co.uk>...

> much if your audience is primarily American: to British people
> "flashlight" would stick out like a sore thumb, but possibly Americans
> wouldn't notice a problem.

Fortunately for the British, they have no trouble at all *interpreting*
the word "flashlight" correctly, which isn't as true for an American
(or, likely, even a British person with some levels of ambiguity) reading
the word 'torch'.

Julian Fondren

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Feb 4, 2002, 12:55:50 PM2/4/02
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"Jacqueline A. Lott" <Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com> wrote in message news:<u5r9hi4...@corp.supernews.com>...

> I am finally really getting into my game, and was thinking of changing the
> default to American spelling because I'm an American. Then I realized that
> my entire game centers around British characters, and to change the spelling
> would be a terrible thing to do. Then I realized that all my other text
> should be written with British spelling as well.

My advice is to just write everything however it comes to you, totally
ignore British<->American differences, and trust that the reader can handle
it -- which is probably a safe enough bet, anyway.

Magnus Olsson

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Feb 4, 2002, 1:13:48 PM2/4/02
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In article <76ea4fd3.02020...@posting.google.com>,

Or trust your beta testers to catch the cases that the reader can't
handle.

Jeremy

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Feb 4, 2002, 1:20:25 PM2/4/02
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I'm not the author, but if I were writing about British people, I'd stop at
no length to make it authentic.

Good research is the cornerstone of a believable story.

That's just me, however.


"Robin Rawson-Tetley" <robin.raw...@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:e9ceddbb.02020...@posting.google.com...

Jeremy

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Feb 4, 2002, 1:30:55 PM2/4/02
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That says more about Americans. Nothing flattering.

I think if you're doing the 'lowest common denominator' thing, IF really
isn't the field to be in.


"Julian Fondren" <clever...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:76ea4fd3.02020...@posting.google.com...

Alex Warren

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Feb 4, 2002, 2:12:51 PM2/4/02
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Gary Shannon wrote:

> Not to mention non-stop BBC America over here in the colonies. What would I
> do without my daily dose of Graham Norton, Ab Fab, Coupling, Junk Yard Wars,
> etc.??

I think "Junk Yard Wars" is the programme known as "Scrapheap Challenge" over
here. So there's another example of a vocabulary difference.

Kevin Bracey

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Feb 4, 2002, 8:13:10 AM2/4/02
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In message <qjgr5ukjjb7fc0d10...@4ax.com>
Alex Warren <al...@peculiar.co.uk> wrote:

> Jacqueline A. Lott wrote:
>
> > That having been said, I've visited the following site:
> >
> > http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm
> >
> > To those Brits on the list willing to take a glance at that link, do you
> > find it to be a pretty good resource for an ignorant American such as
> > myself?
>
> Some things seem to be wrong. I'd never write "banque" or "arguement".

Yes, that's wrong. I'd take that site with a pinch of salt; it'd be better to
just send a copy of your game text to an English speaker.

> There's a difference between the verb "to program" and a "programme"
> (noun).

I've always distinguished between "a computer program" and "a television
programme" - so the "program" spelling is unique to computers (having being
picked up from the US).


> "Dreamt" and "dreamed" are equally valid. I prefer the latter.

Yuck. I'd say that "dreamed" is an archaic usage, possibly used in
rhetoric/poetry - eg "I dreamed a dream". Normally it's "dreamt" - "I dreamt
that I was eaten by a grue."

Also, "metre" is the unit of measurement, but you measure things with a
"meter". Similarly, the spelling of "draught" depends on the meaning.

The single "l" before "ing" is one of the main things that I find jarring in
American spelling, as I was always taught that consonants like "l", "m", "n"
and "t" are doubled before "ing", unless followed by "e", in which case the
"e" is dropped and the consonant left alone. Thus all those American
spellings imply the base words "equale", "modele", "signale" etc, at least to
me.

--
Kevin Bracey
http://www.bracey-griffith.freeserve.co.uk/Zip2000/

John W. Kennedy

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Feb 4, 2002, 5:20:57 PM2/4/02
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Jeremy wrote:
>
> That says more about Americans. Nothing flattering.
>
> I think if you're doing the 'lowest common denominator' thing, IF really
> isn't the field to be in.

I don't know that that really follows. It is an objective fact that US
culture has penetrated more into Britain than the reverse. And, as he
justly said, "torch" is susceptible of more than one interpretation by
the most educated Briton, whereas "flashlight" is not. I would still at
this date put "torch" into the mouth of a British speaker, of course.



> "Julian Fondren" <clever...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:76ea4fd3.02020...@posting.google.com...
> > Bruce Stephens <bruce+...@cenderis.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:<87k7tuq...@cenderis.demon.co.uk>...
> > > much if your audience is primarily American: to British people
> > > "flashlight" would stick out like a sore thumb, but possibly Americans
> > > wouldn't notice a problem.
> >
> > Fortunately for the British, they have no trouble at all *interpreting*
> > the word "flashlight" correctly, which isn't as true for an American
> > (or, likely, even a British person with some levels of ambiguity) reading
> > the word 'torch'.

--
John W. Kennedy
Read the remains of Shakespeare's lost play, now annotated!
http://pws.prserv.net/jwkennedy/Double%20Falshood.html

Benjamin Haines

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Feb 4, 2002, 6:10:46 PM2/4/02
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On Mon, 04 Feb 2002 13:13:10 GMT, Kevin Bracey <kevin....@pace.co.uk> scribbled:

> Yuck. I'd say that "dreamed" is an archaic usage, possibly used in
> rhetoric/poetry - eg "I dreamed a dream". Normally it's "dreamt" - "I dreamt
> that I was eaten by a grue."

Really? Us Merkins, or this one at least, take it the other way around. "Dreamt"
sounds snooty and, well...'poncy', I believe you'd call it over there. (With
single quotes, of course.) "Dreamed" sounds like a good red-blooded working-class
word.

*shrug* Small world, ...big pond.

-ben

mathew

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Feb 4, 2002, 6:22:55 PM2/4/02
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In article <qjgr5ukjjb7fc0d10...@4ax.com>,

Alex Warren <al...@peculiar.co.uk> wrote:
>Jacqueline A. Lott wrote:
>> http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm
>>
>> To those Brits on the list willing to take a glance at that link, do you
>> find it to be a pretty good resource for an ignorant American such as
>> myself?
>
>Some things seem to be wrong.

Indeed. For example, "-ize" spellings are the recommended ones according
to the Oxford English Dictionary, so don't bother changing everything to
"-ise".

Personally I've never had any trouble reading either English or American
English, even before I moved to the US to live. In fact, for me a poor
translation job is more annoying than reading untranslated text -- I read
a PJ O'Rourke book once which had been utterly butchered by some hack
attempting to Anglicize it.

I'd be more worried about factual details being utterly wrong -- I could
put together a long list of misconceptions Americans have about England,
and vice versa... Let's see: there are only a handful of TV channels,
everyone has bad teeth, the food is awful, people are really polite,
it's foggy all the time, there's a newspaper called "The London Times",
everyone drinks tea, ...


mathew
--
<me...@pobox.com> / journal and stuff at <URL:http://www.pobox.com/~meta/>
Sending me e-mail indicates that you consent to my ignoring any generic
legal disclaimers, copyrights or licenses attached to your e-mail.
Bulk unsolicited e-mail and resumes sent to me may be published.

Benjamin Haines

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Feb 4, 2002, 6:44:24 PM2/4/02
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On Mon, 04 Feb 2002 23:22:55 GMT, mathew <me...@pobox.com> scribbled:

> I'd be more worried about factual details being utterly wrong -- I could
> put together a long list of misconceptions Americans have about England,
> and vice versa... Let's see: there are only a handful of TV channels,
> everyone has bad teeth, the food is awful, people are really polite,
> it's foggy all the time, there's a newspaper called "The London Times",
> everyone drinks tea, ...

I believe it was Bill Bryson who said that the most notable trait to be
found in the British was their ability to become genuinely excited over the
possibility of a hot beverage.

'Anyone for a cup o' tea?'
'OOooooooo!'

-ben

Gary Shannon

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Feb 4, 2002, 9:00:36 PM2/4/02
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"Alex Warren" <al...@peculiar.co.uk> wrote in message
news:67nt5ukd9q9ada4ke...@4ax.com...

> Gary Shannon wrote:
>
> > Not to mention non-stop BBC America over here in the colonies. What
would I
> > do without my daily dose of Graham Norton, Ab Fab, Coupling, Junk Yard
Wars,
> > etc.??
>
> I think "Junk Yard Wars" is the programme known as "Scrapheap Challenge"
over
> here. So there's another example of a vocabulary difference.
>
>

Hmmm. And just why is Harry Potter's "Philosopher's Stone" have to be
changed to "Sorcerer's Stone" over here? I think both make sense in both
dialects of English.

--gary

Benjamin Haines

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Feb 4, 2002, 9:44:34 PM2/4/02
to
On Tue, 05 Feb 2002 02:00:36 GMT, Gary Shannon <fiz...@starband.net> scribbled:

>
> Hmmm. And just why is Harry Potter's "Philosopher's Stone" have to be
> changed to "Sorcerer's Stone" over here? I think both make sense in both
> dialects of English.
>
> --gary

The average British reader would probably recognize the "Philosopher's
Stone" as an alchemical reference. The average American reader would
probably notice the word "Philosopher" and reject the book as being too
complicated/ intellectual/ high-brow for light reading. *ahem*

That's just a guess, of course. Maybe Ms. Rowling just got bored with the
original title.

Of course, sources say that the U.S. release of "The Once and Future King"
was going to be called "Art the Avenger II: Return from Mystery Island".

And--true story this time--the British play "The Madness of George III" was
changed to "The Madness of King George" in the film version partly because
Americans were not expected to know that George III was a king, and partly
because the filmmakers were concerned that some Yanks might wonder how they
managed to miss parts I and II.

*sigh*

-ben

Michael Iachini

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Feb 4, 2002, 11:49:30 PM2/4/02
to
I'm a first-time Inform programmer as well, and fortunately, my game
does not have to worry about British vs. American characters. I'm an
American, but I've seen that much of the IF community is based in the
UK. I agree with many of the posts here that suggest just writing
your game in whatever manner is most comfortable for you (although, of
course, the issue of characters is another matter entirely), and I
have had only one question about this in my game: Should I use feet or
meters (metres) in my descriptions? I wouldn't use the -re spelling,
of course, but how widely used are the "traditional" measurements in
the UK? Which seems more natural to folks across the pond? I tend to
feel that, since the IF community appears well-educated on the whole,
the metric system just seems more appropriate. On the other hand, if
NO ONE uses meters... well, what's the point? What are your thoughts
out there?

Michael Iachini

Jim Fisher

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Feb 5, 2002, 12:16:49 AM2/5/02
to
> On the other hand, if
> NO ONE uses meters... well, what's the point? What are your thoughts
> out there?

I could be wrong, but I think that almost the entire *WORLD* uses the metric
system and the "standard" system is really just standard in the U.S. Still,
I would think that the decision would still be a matter of personal
preference. I doubt seriously that there are very many IFers that wouldn't
understand "six foot, one inch".

Perhaps the setting of your game would help in this decision.
--
Jim (AT) OnyxRing (DOT) com
Visit "An Inform Developer's Guide" or browse the
"ORLibrary" extensions to the standard library at
www.OnyxRing.com
----------------------
Some days you eat the code; some days the code eats you

Arcum Dagsson

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Feb 5, 2002, 12:28:34 AM2/5/02
to
In article <76ea4fd3.02020...@posting.google.com>,
clever...@hotmail.com (Julian Fondren) wrote:

Depends on the American. Being American myself, I'd have no problem interpreting
torch as flashlight, provided the proper English atmosphere is given. But then,
I watch a lot of BBC shows...

Mind, I'd have a lot more trouble with words (& phrases) like courgette, skive,
candy floss, berk, joiner, scarper, chivvy, pantechnicon, spiv, grizzle, and to
hump. (though some of them I have a vague idea of, or are given away by context)

--
--Arcum
"There was a terrible ghastly silence.
There was a terrible ghastly noise.
There was a terrible ghastly silence. "

Gary Shannon

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Feb 5, 2002, 12:29:46 AM2/5/02
to

"Jim Fisher" <J...@OnyxRing.com> wrote in message
news:5VJ78.11453$Xk4.7...@news1.east.cox.net...

> > On the other hand, if
> > NO ONE uses meters... well, what's the point? What are your thoughts
> > out there?
>
> I could be wrong, but I think that almost the entire *WORLD* uses the
metric
> system and the "standard" system is really just standard in the U.S.
Still,
> I would think that the decision would still be a matter of personal
> preference. I doubt seriously that there are very many IFers that wouldn't
> understand "six foot, one inch".
>
> Perhaps the setting of your game would help in this decision.
> --

My first game ( in progress ) skirts the problem by setting the story in an
unspecified pre-industrial western country and using phrases like "about two
hands wide" to describe dimensions. That way I don't have to worry either
about English vs Metric, or English vs American. The original adventure
took place in some archaic language that nobody speaks anymore, and I just
translated into American English. (cop out!)

--gary

L. Ross Raszewski

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Feb 5, 2002, 2:12:39 AM2/5/02
to
On Tue, 05 Feb 2002 05:28:34 GMT, Arcum Dagsson
<Arcum_...@another.c.o.m> wrote:
>In article <76ea4fd3.02020...@posting.google.com>,
> clever...@hotmail.com (Julian Fondren) wrote:
>
>> Bruce Stephens <bruce+...@cenderis.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>> news:<87k7tuq...@cenderis.demon.co.uk>...
>> > much if your audience is primarily American: to British people
>> > "flashlight" would stick out like a sore thumb, but possibly Americans
>> > wouldn't notice a problem.
>>
>> Fortunately for the British, they have no trouble at all *interpreting*
>> the word "flashlight" correctly, which isn't as true for an American
>> (or, likely, even a British person with some levels of ambiguity) reading
>> the word 'torch'.
>
>Depends on the American. Being American myself, I'd have no problem
interpreting
>torch as flashlight, provided the proper English atmosphere is
given. But then,
>I watch a lot of BBC shows...
>

Well, I imagine the concern would be more that one might interpreter
'torch' as, well, a torch. I'd have no trouble interpreting torch as
flashlight either, but unless I had enough context to be sure, I might
well try to >LIGHT CIGARETTE WITH TORCH. I suspect that even British
persons might confuse th'one for th'other without sufficient context
-- and a flashlight isn't the sort of thing one is guaranteed to spend
enough descriptive effort on to make it unambiguous. (And don't
suppose that the setting is adequate; being in modern times doesn't
preclude carrying around a burning stick as a light source.)

L. Ross Raszewski

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Feb 5, 2002, 2:17:00 AM2/5/02
to
On 5 Feb 2002 02:44:34 GMT, Benjamin Haines

<becomingNO...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>On Tue, 05 Feb 2002 02:00:36 GMT, Gary Shannon <fiz...@starband.net>
scribbled:
>>
>> Hmmm. And just why is Harry Potter's "Philosopher's Stone" have to be
>> changed to "Sorcerer's Stone" over here? I think both make sense in both
>> dialects of English.
>>
>> --gary
>
>The average British reader would probably recognize the "Philosopher's
>Stone" as an alchemical reference. The average American reader would
>probably notice the word "Philosopher" and reject the book as being too
>complicated/ intellectual/ high-brow for light reading. *ahem*

Joy. It's american bashing time.

How about the possibility that brits are pretentious enough to insist
on the "proper name" whereas american audiences might be more
concerned that the average ten year old in the target audience doesn't
know what a philosopher *is*, and doesn't have the educational
background to understand even if you explained it to them?

I doubt your "average American reader" is as stupid as you'd like to
think. I would, on the other hand, believe your average american *ten
year old child* might be unable to cope with "Philosopher's stone".
But I suspect that your average British ten year old would be
similarly inconvenienced -- unfortunately, without the genius that is
American Marketing Strategy to impose a kinder, gentler title.

L. Ross Raszewski

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Feb 5, 2002, 2:18:46 AM2/5/02
to
On Mon, 04 Feb 2002 23:22:55 GMT, mathew <me...@pobox.com> wrote:
>In article <qjgr5ukjjb7fc0d10...@4ax.com>,
>Alex Warren <al...@peculiar.co.uk> wrote:
>>Jacqueline A. Lott wrote:
>>> http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm
>>>
>>> To those Brits on the list willing to take a glance at that link, do you
>>> find it to be a pretty good resource for an ignorant American such as
>>> myself?
>>
>>Some things seem to be wrong.
>
>Indeed. For example, "-ize" spellings are the recommended ones according
>to the Oxford English Dictionary, so don't bother changing everything to
>"-ise".

Except, obviously, 'initialise'

Mark

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Feb 5, 2002, 2:00:14 AM2/5/02
to
On 4 Feb 2002 23:44:24 GMT, Benjamin Haines
<becomingNO...@earthlink.net> wrote:


Well, I'm sure 'some' people do react like that. But as an observation,
it's a wildly inaccurate generalisation. I've lived in the UK all my life
(38yrs) and never met anyone who got 'excited' over a potential tea or
coffee.

I think the problem is that, some people like to paint a picture either
coloured with their own bias or composed how they think their audience want
to see it, rather that how it actually is. Naturally, with little or no
personal experience to draw on themselves, the audience are left to accept
it as pretty much accurate and factual. Hollywood films have a lot to
answer for in this area. But then, some script writers seem to have little
or no clue as to what really goes on outside the U.S. Either that, or they
just don't care. Everyone from any other country is just portrayed as a
worn out 'we'd like to think they're like this' stereotype...

Unfortunately, the end result is just a bunch of half-truths, fantasy
fabrications and plain misconceptions, and I've seen it both ways. My U.S.
friends in the UK occasionally complain about the erroneous way that the
U.S. and its culture is perceived by some English people as well.

Nobody's perfect...

Mark

Benjamin Haines

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 2:29:38 AM2/5/02
to
On 5 Feb 2002 07:17:00 GMT, L. Ross Raszewski <lrasz...@loyola.edu> scribbled:

>
> How about the possibility that brits are pretentious enough to insist
> on the "proper name" whereas american audiences might be more
> concerned that the average ten year old in the target audience doesn't
> know what a philosopher *is*, and doesn't have the educational
> background to understand even if you explained it to them?

Yeah, maybe you're right. ;)

-ben

Benjamin Haines

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 2:44:30 AM2/5/02
to
On Tue, 05 Feb 2002 07:00:14 +0000, Mark <la...@usa.net> scribbled:

> Unfortunately, the end result is just a bunch of half-truths, fantasy
> fabrications and plain misconceptions, and I've seen it both ways. My U.S.
> friends in the UK occasionally complain about the erroneous way that the
> U.S. and its culture is perceived by some English people as well.
>
> Nobody's perfect...

Did you happen to see the film _No Man's Land_? It's a lovely example of
how folks from the Balkans have their picture of the "West", and of each
other for that matter. And that, too, of course goes both ways.

-ben

Richard Bos

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 3:49:59 AM2/5/02
to
lrasz...@loyola.edu (L. Ross Raszewski) wrote:

> On 5 Feb 2002 02:44:34 GMT, Benjamin Haines
> <becomingNO...@earthlink.net> wrote:
> >On Tue, 05 Feb 2002 02:00:36 GMT, Gary Shannon <fiz...@starband.net>
> scribbled:
> >>
> >> Hmmm. And just why is Harry Potter's "Philosopher's Stone" have to be
> >> changed to "Sorcerer's Stone" over here? I think both make sense in both
> >> dialects of English.
> >

> >The average British reader would probably recognize the "Philosopher's
> >Stone" as an alchemical reference. The average American reader would
> >probably notice the word "Philosopher" and reject the book as being too
> >complicated/ intellectual/ high-brow for light reading. *ahem*
>
> Joy. It's american bashing time.

Actually, it's USAnian _publisher_ bashing time. Not quite the same
thing.

> How about the possibility that brits are pretentious enough to insist
> on the "proper name"

That isn't pretense, it's historical correctness. The Philosopher's
Stone _is_ something. The Sorceror's Stone is not.

> whereas american audiences might be more
> concerned that the average ten year old in the target audience doesn't
> know what a philosopher *is*, and doesn't have the educational
> background to understand even if you explained it to them?

Well done, you just attempted to keep your children as stupid as they
are, while the British audience just got a little more knowledgable.

Besides, if the concept is mentioned, and used, in the book[1], what
good does it do the reader to _only_ change the title?

Richard

[1] Reputedly. I haven't read the insides.

Magnus Olsson

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 7:12:31 AM2/5/02
to
In article <z5K78.4477$fg4.214...@twister1.starband.net>,

Gary Shannon <fiz...@starband.net> wrote:
>My first game ( in progress ) skirts the problem by setting the story in an
>unspecified pre-industrial western country and using phrases like "about two
>hands wide" to describe dimensions. That way I don't have to worry either
>about English vs Metric, or English vs American.

In this case, I think it would be quite reasonable to use feet and
inches, because in pre-industrial Europe, *everybody* used that kind
of units - it's just that the lenght of, say, an inch would vary
between countries, and sometimes within countries.

I think most of the imperial units go back to Roman times, so there
would be versions of them all across Europe. You'd weigh things in
"pounds" in England, in "livres" in France, in "Pfund" in Germany and
in "pund" in Sweden, and these units would be *roughly* equivalent.

(There are some exceptions, such as an old Swedish mile being about 5
English miles (not to be confused with the modern "metric" Swedish
mile which is 10 km)).

Andy Sithers

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 8:18:45 AM2/5/02
to
"Jacqueline A. Lott" <Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com> wrote in message news:<u5r9hi4...@corp.supernews.com>...
> I am finally really getting into my game, and was thinking of changing the
> default to American spelling because I'm an American. Then I realized that
> my entire game centers around British characters, and to change the spelling
> would be a terrible thing to do. Then I realized that all my other text
> should be written with British spelling as well.
>
> That having been said, I've visited the following site:
>
> http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm
>
> To those Brits on the list willing to take a glance at that link, do you
> find it to be a pretty good resource for an ignorant American such as
> myself? And further more, is there anyone interested in volunteering
> (months down the road, probably) to be a beta tester solely for the purpose
> of catching my spelling errors?
>

As others have said, many of the examples given on the site are
(without context) wrong. For example:

I have tyres on my car, but I don't tyre at the end of a long day

I write computer programs, but follow a programme of work (this seems
to vary by institution you work in, or dictionary you look at)

etc.

As others have said, I'd not worry about spelling (although I would
try to stick to one form or the other), but more about semantics /
vernacular. A British character wouldn't fall off a sidewalk and
damage a car's fender and windshield (or at least he wouldn't tell you
about it like that - "just a scratch, no, it's nothing really, I don't
want to be any bother. My leg? Bent at two impossible angles, sorry,
it's always doing that, sorry, sorry." - may be more like it ;).

Finally, most US TV seems to have a dreadful idea of how we *really*
speak. No 'old chaps' or 'by gollys'. Really.

Sorry about that.

Andy

(not wanting to be any bother really)

Xiphias Gladius

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 8:49:57 AM2/5/02
to
Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:

> Besides, if the concept is mentioned, and used, in the book[1], what
> good does it do the reader to _only_ change the title?

> Richard

> [1] Reputedly. I haven't read the insides.

All references to a "philosopher's stone" in the book are changed to
references to a "sorcerer's stone" througout. My wife and I are
collecting all the books in both English and American versions, so we've
been watching the convergence. The first book had many changes; the most
recent changes a couple spellings and changes single quotes to double
quotes.

- Ian
--
"We could watch THE PRISONER and then watch TELETUBBIES!" -- my mother

Rikard Peterson

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 10:16:45 AM2/5/02
to
"Michael Iachini" <fezz...@hotmail.com> skrev i meddelandet
news:d0614955.02020...@posting.google.com...

> I'm a first-time Inform programmer as well, and fortunately,
> my game does not have to worry about British vs. American
> characters. I'm an American, but I've seen that much of the
> IF community is based in the UK.

...and other parts of the world. ;)

> I agree with many of the posts here that suggest just
> writing your game in whatever manner is most comfortable
> for you (although, of course, the issue of characters is
> another matter entirely), and I have had only one question
> about this in my game: Should I use feet or meters (metres)
> in my descriptions? I wouldn't use the -re spelling, of
> course, but how widely used are the "traditional"
> measurements in the UK? Which seems more natural to folks
> across the pond? I tend to feel that, since the IF community
> appears well-educated on the whole, the metric system just
> seems more appropriate. On the other hand, if NO ONE uses
> meters... well, what's the point? What are your thoughts
> out there?
>
> Michael Iachini

Use whatever you're most comfortable with, but be aware that other
people doesn't know exactly the size of those measurements whether they
are in cm or feet. If you write that a person is eight feet tall, I have
no idea if that's a dwarf or a giant, so if the length of that person is
important it'd be a good idea to clarify it in some way.

Similarly, if it's 20 degrees F outside, I would have to look it up to
know if it's a hot summer day or weather for a polar bear.

But if a shelf is a couple of feet wide I have absolutely nothing
against that.

Rikard


Matthew Russotto

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 10:30:53 AM2/5/02
to
In article <a3ngui$u1g$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net>,

Benjamin Haines <becomingNO...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>And--true story this time--the British play "The Madness of George III" was
>changed to "The Madness of King George" in the film version partly because
>Americans were not expected to know that George III was a king, and partly
>because the filmmakers were concerned that some Yanks might wonder how they
>managed to miss parts I and II.

The first is hardly plausible -- if there's one English King Americans would
recognize, it's George the Third. The American Revolution is still
taught here, after all.

The second makes more sense, though I don't see why Americans would be
more apt to confuse it than British. Do British never use roman
numerals to denote sequels?
--
Matthew T. Russotto mrus...@speakeasy.net
=====
Dmitry is free, but the DMCA survives. DMCA delenda est!
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

Matthew Russotto

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 10:39:45 AM2/5/02
to
In article <3c5f98d3....@news.tiscali.nl>,

Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:
>lrasz...@loyola.edu (L. Ross Raszewski) wrote:
>
>
>Actually, it's USAnian _publisher_ bashing time. Not quite the same
>thing.
>
>> How about the possibility that brits are pretentious enough to insist
>> on the "proper name"
>
>That isn't pretense, it's historical correctness. The Philosopher's
>Stone _is_ something. The Sorceror's Stone is not.

Harry Potter is fiction, so if they want to make up a
"Sorcerer's Stone" which happens to have the same properties as the
(equally fictional!) "Philosopher's stone", there's no problem

>Besides, if the concept is mentioned, and used, in the book[1], what
>good does it do the reader to _only_ change the title?

They changed all the "Philosopher's" to "Sorcerer's"

Richard Bos

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 10:39:14 AM2/5/02
to
Xiphias Gladius <i...@eris.io.com> wrote:

> Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:
>
> > Besides, if the concept is mentioned, and used, in the book[1], what
> > good does it do the reader to _only_ change the title?
>

> > [1] Reputedly. I haven't read the insides.
>
> All references to a "philosopher's stone" in the book are changed to
> references to a "sorcerer's stone" througout.

Ah. So as well as assuming their audience is a bunch of imbeciles, the
USAnian publishers also insist on keeping them that way by lying to them
about a actual part of real-world alchemist history. Well done, guys.

Richard

Daryl McCullough

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 10:29:18 AM2/5/02
to
In article <9qR78.308386$QB1.22...@bin3.nnrp.aus1.giganews.com>, Xiphias
says...

>
>Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:
>
>> Besides, if the concept is mentioned, and used, in the book[1], what
>> good does it do the reader to _only_ change the title?
>
>> Richard
>
>> [1] Reputedly. I haven't read the insides.
>
>All references to a "philosopher's stone" in the book are changed to
>references to a "sorcerer's stone" througout.

And the place where "quidditch" is played has been changed from
"pitch" to "field".

--
Daryl McCullough
CoGenTex, Inc.
Ithaca, NY

Richard Bos

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 10:54:50 AM2/5/02
to
russ...@grace.speakeasy.net (Matthew Russotto) wrote:

> In article <3c5f98d3....@news.tiscali.nl>,
> Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:
> >That isn't pretense, it's historical correctness. The Philosopher's
> >Stone _is_ something. The Sorceror's Stone is not.
>
> Harry Potter is fiction, so if they want to make up a
> "Sorcerer's Stone" which happens to have the same properties as the
> (equally fictional!) "Philosopher's stone", there's no problem

Well, yeah. If Rowling had chosen to, yes. But she decided to use the
_existing_ philosopher's stone legend. To then erase all reference to
this legend and replace it by the same legend, under the name
"sorceror's stone", is mere stupidity (and expectation of same in their
readers) on the part of her publishers in the USA.

Richard

Jacqueline A. Lott

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 11:00:42 AM2/5/02
to
> > I believe it was Bill Bryson who said [...]

Now, now. Don't get me started on Bill Bryson. He's the same one who wrote
that he'd have to purchase a very large knife to carry with him if he hiked
the Appalachian Trail in order to protect himself from hillbillies crazed by
impure moonshine and generations of unbiblical sex. Even tongue in cheek, I
don't think I'd listen to anything he says... once you insult your audience,
they have a way of tuning out most of what you're saying.

But that's another thread, I suppose (see the Feminine Curiosity thread that
went terribly awry at one point...)


Adam Thornton

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 10:54:29 AM2/5/02
to
In article <u6008m4...@corp.supernews.com>,

Jacqueline A. Lott <Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com> wrote:
>> > I believe it was Bill Bryson who said [...]
>
>Now, now. Don't get me started on Bill Bryson. He's the same one who wrote
>that he'd have to purchase a very large knife to carry with him if he hiked
>the Appalachian Trail in order to protect himself from hillbillies crazed by
>impure moonshine and generations of unbiblical sex. Even tongue in cheek, I
>don't think I'd listen to anything he says... once you insult your audience,
>they have a way of tuning out most of what you're saying.

Although I agree that Bill Bryson is horribly wrong with regard to
aldehyde-addled hillbillies and his characterization of Missoura as
"The Show Me (the Way to Another) State", he is of course absolutely
accurate in his observations in "In a Sunburned Country," particularly
about "Australian Animals That Will Kill You Horribly, vol. 19."

Adam

Jacqueline A. Lott

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 11:11:08 AM2/5/02
to
> As others have said, I'd not worry about spelling (although I would
> try to stick to one form or the other), but more about semantics /
> vernacular.

All of these posts have been terribly helpful, though most have me half-way
convinced to just write with American spellings, if for no other reason than
assured consistency. When the story gets closer to completion, i.e. to when
the entire thing is really being beta-tested, perhaps I'll post again to ask
if some old chap or abfab lady would like to take a look at it to see if
it's too distracting... ; )

(I really did read your post, Andy... I'll never say "old chap" again.)


Branko Collin

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 11:31:52 AM2/5/02
to
"Jim Fisher" <J...@OnyxRing.com>, you wrote on Tue, 05 Feb 2002
05:16:49 GMT:

>> On the other hand, if
>> NO ONE uses meters... well, what's the point? What are your thoughts
>> out there?
>
>I could be wrong, but I think that almost the entire *WORLD* uses the metric
>system and the "standard" system is really just standard in the U.S.

I do not think that is the issue here. Question is, what do Brits use?


--
branko collin
Volk van San Theodoros, ik heb U begrepen.

David Picton

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 11:23:18 AM2/5/02
to
Bruce Stephens <bruce+...@cenderis.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<87k7tuq...@cenderis.demon.co.uk>...
> "Jacqueline A. Lott" <Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com> writes:
>
> [...]

>
> > http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwesl/egw/jones/differences.htm
> >
> > To those Brits on the list willing to take a glance at that link, do you
> > find it to be a pretty good resource for an ignorant American such as
> > myself?
>
> I'd rate <http://www.peak.org/~jeremy/dictionary/dict.html> as a
> better source.

I agree. The first reference tends to oversimplify matters; for example, it
fails to mention that both the -ise and -ize forms are used in British spelling.
The -ise form is more common but the -ize form is preferred by some dictionaries
(e.g. the Oxford English Dictionary) and by some publishers.

In other cases the UK spelling is used for some applications of a word, but
the US spelling for others, e.g. a computer program but a television or
theatre programme.

David Thornley

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 11:19:36 AM2/5/02
to
In article <3c5ffa95....@news.tiscali.nl>,

Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:
>
>Ah. So as well as assuming their audience is a bunch of imbeciles, the
>USAnian publishers also insist on keeping them that way by lying to them
>about a actual part of real-world alchemist history. Well done, guys.
>
And the real value of knowing the phrase "philosopher's stone" would
be?

It was never described how the stone was made, or what it symbolizes.
It was, basically, a way of conferring extended or enhanced life.
I don't remember, offhand, if Rowling mentioned transmuting elements
with it.

That being the case, it's a plot element taken from alchemy, with
none of the connections. You will learn nothing of the history (real
or mythical) or philosophy of alchemy from the book. All you will
learn, if you read the British version instead of the US, is a phrase
that's a bit hard to pronounce.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
da...@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-

Dylan O'Donnell

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 11:29:28 AM2/5/02
to
col...@xs4all.nl (Branko Collin) writes:
> "Jim Fisher" <J...@OnyxRing.com>, you wrote on Tue, 05 Feb 2002
> 05:16:49 GMT:
>
> >> On the other hand, if
> >> NO ONE uses meters... well, what's the point? What are your thoughts
> >> out there?
> >
> >I could be wrong, but I think that almost the entire *WORLD* uses the metric
> >system and the "standard" system is really just standard in the U.S.
>
> I do not think that is the issue here. Question is, what do Brits use?

Imperial. (The Government and the EU may be under the impression that
we use metric, but they're mostly ignored.) Note that Imperial and US
measures are _not_ necessarily the same thing, though they generally
use the same names for units.

--
: Dylan O'Donnell http://www.spod-central.org/~psmith/ :
: "You boil it in sawdust: you salt it in glue: / You condense it with :
: locusts and tape: / Still keeping one principal object in view -- / :
: To preserve its symmetrical shape." [ Lewis Carroll, "THotS" ] :

Stephen Bond

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 11:40:40 AM2/5/02
to
David Thornley wrote:
>
> In article <3c5ffa95....@news.tiscali.nl>,
> Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:
> >
> >Ah. So as well as assuming their audience is a bunch of imbeciles, the
> >USAnian publishers also insist on keeping them that way by lying to them
> >about a actual part of real-world alchemist history. Well done, guys.
> >
> And the real value of knowing the phrase "philosopher's stone" would
> be?
> It was never described how the stone was made, or what it symbolizes.
> [...] You will learn nothing of the history (real

> or mythical) or philosophy of alchemy from the book.

But don't you think knowledge of the phrase 'philosopher's stone' might
have some value outside the context of the book?

Might knowledge of the meaning of the phrase bring a new perspective on
the stone described in the book? (I don't know -- I haven't read it.)

And don't you think that the US publishers, in changing the book's
title, have shown contempt for the intelligence of its readers?

Stephen.
www.maths.tcd.ie/~bonds/

Branko Collin

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 12:13:07 PM2/5/02
to
lrasz...@loyola.edu (L. Ross Raszewski), you wrote on 5 Feb 2002
07:17:00 GMT:

>On 5 Feb 2002 02:44:34 GMT, Benjamin Haines
><becomingNO...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>>On Tue, 05 Feb 2002 02:00:36 GMT, Gary Shannon <fiz...@starband.net>
>scribbled:
>>>
>>> Hmmm. And just why is Harry Potter's "Philosopher's Stone" have to be
>>> changed to "Sorcerer's Stone" over here? I think both make sense in both
>>> dialects of English.
>>
>>The average British reader would probably recognize the "Philosopher's
>>Stone" as an alchemical reference. The average American reader would
>>probably notice the word "Philosopher" and reject the book as being too
>>complicated/ intellectual/ high-brow for light reading. *ahem*
>
>Joy. It's american bashing time.
>
>How about the possibility that brits are pretentious enough to insist
>on the "proper name" whereas american audiences might be more
>concerned that the average ten year old in the target audience doesn't
>know what a philosopher *is*, and doesn't have the educational
>background to understand even if you explained it to them?

Now come on, there's no need for further USA bashing.

>I doubt your "average American reader" is as stupid as you'd like to
>think.

Hm? I thought that was what you were suggesting? Keep 'em dumb, so to
say, by not exposing them to 'hard' words?

>I would, on the other hand, believe your average american *ten
>year old child* might be unable to cope with "Philosopher's stone".
>But I suspect that your average British ten year old would be
>similarly inconvenienced -- unfortunately, without the genius that is
>American Marketing Strategy to impose a kinder, gentler title.

(I expect Canadian and Mexican ten-year-olds, on the other hand, will
be able enough to read and enjoy The Philosopher's Stone.)

Branko Collin

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 12:13:08 PM2/5/02
to
russ...@grace.speakeasy.net (Matthew Russotto), you wrote on Tue, 05
Feb 2002 15:30:53 -0000:

>In article <a3ngui$u1g$1...@nntp9.atl.mindspring.net>,
>Benjamin Haines <becomingNO...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>>And--true story this time--the British play "The Madness of George III" was
>>changed to "The Madness of King George" in the film version partly because
>>Americans were not expected to know that George III was a king, and partly
>>because the filmmakers were concerned that some Yanks might wonder how they
>>managed to miss parts I and II.
>
>The first is hardly plausible -- if there's one English King Americans would
>recognize, it's George the Third. The American Revolution is still
>taught here, after all.
>
>The second makes more sense, though I don't see why Americans would be
>more apt to confuse it than British. Do British never use roman
>numerals to denote sequels?

Sequels?

Julian Fondren

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 12:02:45 PM2/5/02
to
in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl (Richard Bos) wrote in message news:<3c5f98d3....@news.tiscali.nl>...

> That isn't pretense, it's historical correctness. The Philosopher's
> Stone _is_ something. [...]

Something that, interestingly, is entirely absent from the book.



> Well done, you just attempted to keep your children as stupid as they
> are, while the British audience just got a little more knowledgable.

Back to American-bashing time.



> [1] Reputedly. I haven't read the insides.

I have.

Benjamin Haines

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 12:15:26 PM2/5/02
to
On Tue, 05 Feb 2002 15:30:53 -0000, Matthew Russotto <russ...@grace.speakeasy.net> scribbled:

>
> The first is hardly plausible -- if there's one English King Americans would
> recognize, it's George the Third. The American Revolution is still
> taught here, after all.
>
> The second makes more sense, though I don't see why Americans would be
> more apt to confuse it than British. Do British never use roman
> numerals to denote sequels?

There were a bunch of newspaper articles about it back when the
film came out in '94 or '95. As I recall, it wasn't so much that
the Americans were assumed to be stupid, specifically (though I
heard it that way quite a lot in England, and it makes the story
funnier), but that it was thought prudent to emphasize that the
film was in fact about a King, given that the rest of the world
might not immediately think "Oh, that must be an (English) King"
when they saw "George III".

-ben

Benjamin Haines

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 12:16:37 PM2/5/02
to
On Tue, 5 Feb 2002 15:54:29 +0000 (UTC), Adam Thornton <ad...@fsf.net> scribbled:

>
> Although I agree that Bill Bryson is horribly wrong with regard to
> aldehyde-addled hillbillies and his characterization of Missoura as
> "The Show Me (the Way to Another) State", he is of course absolutely
> accurate in his observations in "In a Sunburned Country," particularly
> about "Australian Animals That Will Kill You Horribly, vol. 19."
>
> Adam
>

And he *likes* Britain. (With friends like that...)

-ben

SteveG

unread,
Feb 5, 2002, 1:33:20 PM2/5/02
to
On Tue, 5 Feb 2002 07:11:08 -0900, "Jacqueline A. Lott"
<Jacqu...@MountainMemoirs.com> wrote:

>> As others have said, I'd not worry about spelling (although I would
>> try to stick to one form or the other), but more about semantics /
>> vernacular.
>
>All of these posts have been terribly helpful, though most have me half-way
>convinced to just write with American spellings, if for no other reason than
>assured consistency.

Now that you've nearly made up your mind, I'm going to confuse the
issue again for you! Despite not being by any stretch of the
imagination a British person, I'd be distracted by American spellings
in any piece supposedly set somewhere in the British Isles. (In my
country the British spellings are 'correct' and the American ones are
'Americanisms.')

But having said that, I think it is probably a good idea that you
should not over-emphasise authentic English-ness whilst you're writing
as that may break your flow of ideas. I think it would be better to
not worry too much and leave it up to your English beta-testers to fix
your worst clunkers.

>When the story gets closer to completion, i.e. to when
>the entire thing is really being beta-tested, perhaps I'll post again to ask
>if some old chap or abfab lady would like to take a look at it to see if
>it's too distracting... ; )
>
>(I really did read your post, Andy... I'll never say "old chap" again.)
>
>

-- SteveG
remove _X_ from my address to send me email

Matthew Russotto

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Feb 5, 2002, 1:39:48 PM2/5/02
to
In article <3c60054b...@news.xs4all.nl>,

Branko Collin <col...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>"Jim Fisher" <J...@OnyxRing.com>, you wrote on Tue, 05 Feb 2002
>05:16:49 GMT:
>
>>> On the other hand, if
>>> NO ONE uses meters... well, what's the point? What are your thoughts
>>> out there?
>>
>>I could be wrong, but I think that almost the entire *WORLD* uses the metric
>>system and the "standard" system is really just standard in the U.S.
>
>I do not think that is the issue here. Question is, what do Brits use?

Metric. Or else. Doing commerce in the old units results in jail time.

L. Ross Raszewski

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Feb 5, 2002, 1:48:28 PM2/5/02
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On Tue, 05 Feb 2002 16:40:40 GMT, Stephen Bond <ste...@sonycom.com> wrote:
>David Thornley wrote:
>>
>> In article <3c5ffa95....@news.tiscali.nl>,
>> Richard Bos <in...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl> wrote:
>> >
>> >Ah. So as well as assuming their audience is a bunch of imbeciles, the
>> >USAnian publishers also insist on keeping them that way by lying to them
>> >about a actual part of real-world alchemist history. Well done, guys.
>> >
>> And the real value of knowing the phrase "philosopher's stone" would
>> be?
>> It was never described how the stone was made, or what it symbolizes.
>> [...] You will learn nothing of the history (real
>> or mythical) or philosophy of alchemy from the book.
>
>But don't you think knowledge of the phrase 'philosopher's stone' might
>have some value outside the context of the book?

SHe should have called it 'Harry Potter and the Holy Grail'

>
>Might knowledge of the meaning of the phrase bring a new perspective on
>the stone described in the book? (I don't know -- I haven't read it.)
>
>And don't you think that the US publishers, in changing the book's
>title, have shown contempt for the intelligence of its readers?

Don't you think that in changing the book's title, US publishers have
shown a concern for not confusing children?

Matthew F Funke

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Feb 5, 2002, 1:57:49 PM2/5/02
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Jim Fisher <J...@OnyxRing.com> wrote:
>> On the other hand, if
>> NO ONE uses meters... well, what's the point? What are your thoughts
>> out there?
>
>I could be wrong, but I think that almost the entire *WORLD* uses the metric
>system and the "standard" system is really just standard in the U.S.

*Extremely* minor nitpick, but the metric system is technically the
standard measurement system in the States -- it's just that all Imperial
measurements are defined in terms of their metric counterparts (an inch,
for example, is defined as exactly 2.54 cm)... and no group seems
interested in making the switch to round amounts of metric measurement,
save perhaps film makers (35mm and 8mm sizes are common) and soda bottlers
(who distribute their wares in one-, two-, and three-liter bottles).
--
-- With Best Regards,
Matthew Funke (m...@hopper.unh.edu)

Stephen Bond

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Feb 5, 2002, 2:35:24 PM2/5/02
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"L. Ross Raszewski" <lrasz...@loyola.edu> wrote in message
news:a3p9ds$73c$1...@foobar.cs.jhu.edu...

No.

In changing the book's title, all they have shown a concern for is
maximizing book sales.

Stephen.
www.maths.tcd.ie/~bonds/


Xiphias Gladius

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Feb 5, 2002, 3:02:56 PM2/5/02
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Rikard Peterson <trumg...@bigfoot.com> wrote:

> Similarly, if it's 20 degrees F outside, I would have to look it up to
> know if it's a hot summer day or weather for a polar bear.

As a rule, 0 degrees is as cold as it gets in a place that sane humans
would consider living, and 100 degrees is as hot as it gets in a place
that sane humans would consider living. 25 degrees is pretty darned cold,
below freezing, 50 degrees is weather that wouldn't kill you if you were
outside in it naked, but you'd sure not be happy, and 75 degrees is pretty
darned nice.

200 degrees is a warm oven, for keeping food warm or the like, 350 degrees
is what you bake at normally, 500 degrees is as high as an oven's likely
to go.

Farenheit, while rather useless for scientific work, actually comes in
pretty useful for temperatures one encounters in daily life.

John W. Kennedy

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Feb 5, 2002, 3:06:32 PM2/5/02
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