From today's Guardian--"Enid Blyton's Famous Five Get 21st-Century makeover."
The one time my dear mother really truly betrayed me is when she oh-so-conveniently left our complete collection of Famous Five books in the Bahamas when we moved back to the States. She never liked them--she had somehow gotten it into her mind that Enid Blyton wasn't exactly what she wanted her daughters to read and re-read and re-read...But goodness, I did enjoy them.
And a large part of their charm (even though I took it for granted at the time, being essentially a sweetly jolly British-esque school girl myself*) was the vividly-written British-ness of them. That is about to go out the window--ten of the books are being bland-ified, to make them more accessible to today's young. For example, "she must be jolly lonely all by herself" will become "she must get lonely all by herself". Blah!
My own boys have listened to audio books of several of the original books with much enjoyment (although goodness knows I winced at some of the racism and sexism, so much so that I'd rather read them aloud myself, so that I can do my own editing; maybe this is why my mother ditched them). But what really is bothering me is the sense I get from this that the world is becoming far too linguistically homogeneous. Surely there are still people in England who say things are "jolly?" My own dear husband (who has provided italicized interjections) comes from (the dismal working-class slums of) Liverpool, and has never called anything jolly with any sincerity (Jolly? Luxury! i.e. it's a class thing), but there must be some people still there who are glad-eyed and upright and sincere (and upper-clarse ....)
And even more than that, I am vaguely bothered to find that I have been speaking in outdated English English myself--it is no wonder that I am so often misunderstood (pities self). One of the things I say quite often--"it's all very peculiar" is being changed to "it's all very strange". Although I would say "it's all really peculiar," overusing "really" as I do (sigh--a quick search of my blog revealed a "really" in almost every post).
But anyway, it all seems wrong and pointless. Blah, I say again.
*so much so that I was chosen for a UK TV commercial, in which I sailed with Captain Birdseye, promoting fish fingers.