Not to alarm you, gentle readers, on this so-far placid Sunday morning, but Disney's marauding editors have hacked the Hundred Acre Wood to cheap, American pulp. According to the Telegraph, conscientious British readers are horrified at error-strewn, Yankified modern updates of the children's classic in which Pooh and his friends used to play chess or draughts but now play chequers because that's about the most nuanced board game Americans can handle.
Linda Weeks, a (you'll never guess) librarian, takes moderate to great umbrage with the new Pooh books, paying particular attention to changes like the British phrase "skipping rope" to the characteristically hyperbolic American "jumping rope." Despairing of such needless revision, Weeks can only ask,
AA Milne would never have written the word 'gotten', so why has it been put in there?
Hmm, I don't know, Mrs. Weeks — why are you so fond of the passive voice? Bath-based publisher Parragon has launched an investigation into the actual errata that appeared in its Disney versions of Winnie the Pooh as well as other classics like Snow White and The Magical Story, but the publisher defends the inclusion of the alleged Americanisms. Speaking to the BBC, Parragon said,
With regard to your point on 'Americanisms', we sell our books around the world and not just the UK and so we sometimes need to adapt the language accordingly to make it accessible for the widest possible audience.
Widest possible audience means lowest common denominator and lowest common denominator means America. Language, both written and spoken, is always changing, especially when it has to cross an entire ocean and haul its ass to corners of the world where it was never supposed to go in the first place, and even more especially when Disney has to push some books to kids who don't know what the fuck draughts is. Does it matter that that Tigger is twirling his "mustache" instead of his "moustache"? Only a very little bit, about the same amount as a typo in the French translation of the warning label on your hairdryer.